The Girl Who Collected Abandoned Birds’ Nests

By mid-November, I had mastered my climbing skills.
I balanced on teetering barn ladders to reach for eves,

prying mud-cupped nests from splintering wood.
I hoisted myself up the bare branches of Oak trees,

to reach for small baskets of gnatcatcher nests
each decorated with lichen, each anchored in place

by thin strands of spider webs I snapped
with my fingers. Once, I even unhooked

swinging sock nests of Baltimore orioles,
each woven together with threads of grape vines

or snarls of tangled fishing line. But my favorites
were the Blue Jay nests, found in the crotches

of Evergreen branches, round cradles woven
tight with twigs twisted from live trees.

Inside, I would find bits of cigarette butts or
a single fake fingernail, red polish gleaming.

Karen J. Weyant

The author of two poetry chapbooks, Karen J. Weyant's most recent work has been published in Chautauqua, Crab Orchard Review, New Plains Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly, and Rattle. She lives in northern Pennsylvania and is an Associate Professor of English at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN