robin by a michael brown
Under Construction
by Kim Klugh

I watch a robin gather small sticks and stalks
from the rain-soaked garden. As she walks about
the muddy soil, she plucks up twigs in her beak
until her bundle is sticking out from both
sides of her bill. She flies to the juniper bush
and disappears into the thick cover it offers.
There she adds to her nest’s construction,
poking and nudging into place each new piece,
rounding out the cup she’s fashioned
with the wrist of her wing.
She’s built her nest from inside out,
adding dead grass and moss then soft mud
for underpinning. Then she sits and waits.
Her industry reminds me of my attempt
to build a different type of construct,
for like the robin preparing for her clutch, I root
and rummage among the muddle too, plucking
snippets of language overheard here and there,
found words and discarded phrases to arrange on my pages
I stretch and twist and mold these into place hoping
a vessel takes hold so that after breaking
through its pale blue shell, a small egg
of a poem, laid with care, hatches
and flutters its new wings like a fledgling lifting
off into air. And like the robin, I am still waiting.

PHOTO: North American Robin Building a Nest by A. Michael Brown, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Spring’s arrival is always welcomed, but particularly after this winter, I have been waiting to observe signs of life and renewal. Many times the chances come when I linger in a moment and snatch the opportunity to witness nature right before my eyes. One morning while watching my husband drive off to work, I caught sight of a robin collecting nesting materials from my flower bed. Before long, she was sitting on the nest, waiting. Her flurry of activity spurred this poem.

kim klugh

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Klugh’s poetry has appeared in two craft books edited by Diane Lockward and published by Terrapin Press: The Practicing Poet and The Crafty Poet II. Her work has also been published on Vox Poetica and Verse Virtual. Her haiku has appeared in her local paper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In May 2020, she was a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition community poem for Ahmaud Arbery “Running for Your Life.” She also enjoys writing silly short stories and poems for her four-year-old grandson.