She labors over it for weeks.
Fills it with plumage and sticks, lifeblood and hope.
It is still incomplete.
In May, they arrive.
Perfect and round, they are covered in speckles of future.
At least one, she knows, will survive.
It is two weeks.
Two weeks of anticipation and warming, waiting and waiting.
It is only optimism the trees leak.
They come into the light
Perfect in every way with beautiful pink heads.
Her eyes fill with the sight.
Needs take over her life.
She doesn’t care but hunts, flying on wind after wind.
Nothing matches her stride.
She croaks words of wisdom,
Head bowed with exhaustion from a day’s flight.
Chicks cock heads, numb.
She feeds them her all,
Worms, beetles, grass, the morsels she imagined eating herself;
She watches them learn to caw.
Bodies fill up,
Brushstrokes of dark fuzz and sprinkles of sunrise,
Not too little, just enough.
All too soon, they fly away.
Feathers fade and trees are stoppered.
It seemed mere days.
Snow piles and melts.
Children see stringy stems, pick at them in wonder, so devoid of color.
So many empty bits.
And where is she now?
Not on holiday, not far away, actually.
Over there? See that town?
She is a hundred.
She is a thousand near the sky, building families of straw and branches.
Letting them fly into the sun.
Thank you to all mothers for giving your children wings!
Angeline Hamilton is a 13-year-old poet. She enjoys spending her days reading, watching her cat Compass be adorable, and playing violin. She has been writing poems and stories for school, friends, and family since second grade.