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May 30, 2012 / Rae Spencer

The Cardinals

Two mated cardinals
Muted mother and masked father
Alarmed and flashed around the corner
Through crepe myrtle, plum, and iris

Their single nestling, un-nested
Precocious and half-fledged
Quavering in the awful sun
Exposed, expelled, exploring
The perilous yard

An infant still shaped to shell
Convex and vexed
Voraciously alive
Irresistibly ugly kernel
Of what might be lovely
Clad in summer plume

Though now all hungry gape
Begging nourishment
Little family of fear on the lawn
Watched by the brooding housewife
Who sits her own reluctant nest
Of amniotic memory
Hatching into phrase

And eager to mature
Like the cardinal chick
Which disappeared next morning
Gone from the woodpile and irises
From the bright wing of father
From the red-headed husband
Whose pajama-clad wife
Frets barefoot in the dew

4 Comments

  1. Jeanette Gallagher / May 30 2012 11:33 PM

    Aww – Beautiful. I was right there with the family.

  2. bardessdmdenton / Jun 7 2012 2:30 PM

    Beautiful poem, Rae! More please!

    • Rae Spencer / Jun 7 2012 4:18 PM

      Thank you! I have a chapbook pending, and I’m working on a full-length collection, so stay tuned!

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