by Kim Klugh

I’ve been observing a robin nesting
in our juniper bush. I check on her again

while waiting for my daughter to arrive,
my June-born middle child, whom I’ve neither seen

nor heard much from in these many months. The early spring
temperatures recently plummeted and I worry

about the chicks’ survival should they hatch.
I wait all day for my self-reliant daughter to appear;

the pandemic has been hard on her and I wonder
where our conversation will wander. While

I’ve recently observed egg shell remains scattered
in the juniper branches–little empty cup halves

of pale blue–I’ve detected no evidence of new life in the nest.
My daughter arrives and we embrace without the need

of masks. It is good to see her face again;
she appears to be whole and intact. There isn’t much news,

given these many months filled with blank days;
she, who left the family nest early on, safeguards her independence,

and can be distant in more ways than merely miles.
We walk through the neighborhood and chat; she fills

the space between us with talk about her new job and condo.
She wants to be on the road before the traffic rush, and no,

she doesn’t need dinner, so we hug good-bye and I wave
as she smiles and drives away. After she is gone,

I spy an egg, fallen from the nest, seemingly whole
and undamaged (based solely on what I observe from its outer shell),

but then, what can I truly tell about the state of anyone’s survival 
when so much silence fills the space within?

Kim Klugh is an English/writing tutor. Her poetry has been published on Vox Poetica and Verse-Virtual. Several of her poems have appeared in two craft books edited by Diane Lockward and published by Terrapin Press: The Practicing Poet and The Crafty Poet II. Her haiku has been published by her local paper in Lancaster, PA. She was also a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition community poem for Ahmaud Arbery, “Running for Your Life,” in May 2020. Sabiyha Prince is an anthropologist, artist, and author based in Washington, DC.  Her books and essays explore urban change and African American culture, and her paintings and photo collages grapple with memory, identity, kinship and inequality.

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