Thursday, June 30, 2016

"The Barn Swallow"

barn swallows

The Barn Swallow

Summer mornings I'd watch as he
of wing and tapered tail, royal and rust,
and early morning swoops over field and lawn
dive-bombed my not-so-innocent cat -
shoulders hunched, eyes averted
whose tail, raised in supposed surrender,
would suddenly twist and paw for the arial acrobat
always just out of reach.

Even spied my little lion, quivering, chattering, 
balancing on barn's wooden beams, eyes fixated 
on unattainable little mud cup plastered to the wall
where five little nestlings precariously perched,
tipping, swaying at nest's edge
seemingly willing to offer themselves up 
any minute with a vertical fall.

A few found fate's end
flat and lifeless as a preserved flower
between the pages of a book -
their press a dirt floor and a horse's hoof.

As my cat aged (and wizened)
he in my lap and I reading a book,
we'd let evening tide tuck us in beneath shadowed porch,
tangerine sky settling in, and watch the skimming aces 
frolic after winged insects, their kvik, kvik, wit, wit 
joining mid-summer's lullaby.

by Margaret Bednar, June 30, 2016

You're invited to listen to me read my poem:

Our family has made the move to the mountains and I unpacked the last box today.  I still have a few trips to Goodwill and a few drawers to organize, but the downsizing and relocation feels great!  I was able to find a barn to board our Quarter Horse and it is in an amazing setting with 60 miles of well-groomed Blue Ridge mountain trails!  I can't wait to be inspired by them.  I walked beneath this barn swallow's nest (I used an app to digitally change it)  while my son played with a barn kitten and it brought back the memory I shared above.