The Fourteenth Spring

[Another dear friend, Carmen Bugan, sent me these poems from her published collections].

This season God sent you a bird’s nest on the porch

with three little blue eggs and a busy robin

waiting every morning outside the door to sing to you

of life’s joys in the heart of loneliness.

I remember fourteen springs ago when I knocked

over the nest and spilled the tiny eggs in the garden

as I planted irises to take my mind off the doctor’s news

and everything else I knew would await you.

Here is a photo of you with the chicks this morning:

Mother says you spend your days on the porch

feeding them cherries. St. Francis giving thanks,

and me thinking of you, and the saint, and of giving thanks

all the way from here where I cannot touch

your old, smiling face that delights at the birds’ song.


The clocks of our birthdays have been turning,

we stand together still inside life’s great circle

blessed with blue bird eggs, of robins? Hard

to tell from the picture, harder yet for you to know

the names of birds in English. We almost miss

the real thing for not naming it, like I almost

lose touch with your face by not being there. Yet

not quite! Days, delight and love are all still here:

Mother looks at you with the camera to send the image

all the way to me. I see both of you, and the birds.

Maybe that’s all there is: the almost missing

and the almost touching life.