Wren’s Nest in a Shed Near Aurora by Kim Stafford

Three tiny eggs in thistledown
cupped in a swirl of grass
in the pocket of the tool belt
I hung on the wall of the shed
when it finally stood complete–
will be three songs
offering local dignity for
my country enthralled by war
in distant lands.
                          Stand back
cautiously, close the door
tenderly, let the future
ripen, grow wings,
and build songs.

Wren’s Nest in a Shed Near Aurora

Kim Stafford is the son of the well known poet William Stafford who wrote every morning before dawn from the 1950s until his death in 1993, a practice that produced many memorable poems. His son has adopted this daily practice, going from an occasional writer to a more active one. This is the first example of his work to come to my attention and now to share with you.

Such a tender picture: Three tiny eggs in thistledown – so delicate and vulnerable yet nestled in the pocket of the tool belt, a sturdy protection. Stafford then moves us forward in time to when these tiny eggs will have hatched into wrens with their birdsong offering local dignity for / my country enthralled by war / in distant lands. What an astonishing leap, from a simple shed to war in distant lands – it gave me pause.

Then the poet invites us to gently leave these eggs in the shelter of the shed and let the future / ripen, grow wings, / and build songs. The future will come of course and with his imagination, there will be bird wings to fly and songs to carry on the air. There is an optimism in this scene of birth and music and flight that counterbalances the grim vision of war. Both will continue to exist and we must never forget the former.

8 thoughts on “Wren’s Nest in a Shed Near Aurora by Kim Stafford

  1. Oh, Jan what a marvelous poem! I have a pair of wrens that live in the vicinity and sing and call loudly around my yard every morning. A tiny bird with such a clear full voice. The poet’s leap from wren songs to war is stunning. One of those jumps that drops me to my knees. I listen to my wrens and wonder that this little fluting song holds the world in balance against all the guns. Or just my heart. It keeps my heart in balance. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning… brings tears to my eyes, a sudden and true call to drop to my knees… the juxtaposition, the simply complex beauty of the world.. reflected in his words
    As ever, thank you.

    Like

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