Aloft, they perch along the nest rim—
no longer nestlings,
nor yet fledglings.
For several weeks, their parents
have fed them, beak to beak,
swooping on blue-black wings
to siphon insects from the air, winged
insects so small I cannot see
Hope, penned Emily Dickinson, is the thing
with feathers that perches in the soul.
But even so, hope is also the last egg
cradled in the nest, displaced only yesterday—
though its nest mates are nearly fledged now—
and cracked open on the tiled step:
The ants made short work
of its golden yolk.