National Poetry Month Day 24

Few people have ever seen a nesting hummingbird, but if you’re one of them, this poem will transport you to that moment with precise and perfect description—and even a lilt of rhyme to lead you along. Mother & Moon was originally published in the Mojave Heart Review.

Photograph © Joanna Streetly

Tara K. Shepersky is a taxonomist, poet, essayist, and photographer. She makes her present home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, with her main literary credential: a tuxedo cat named d’Artagnan. You can read recent and upcoming work in Whitefish Review, Shark Reef, and High Desert Journal, or connect with her at pdxpersky.com.

7 Comments for “National Poetry Month Day 24”

says:

This poem is a wonder and a delight. My heart lifted up with the small bird as I read. Such beautiful writing! Joanna, your presentation, with the small bird on a twig with beautiful background, makes this poem seem a mirror reflection of mine – they are like bookends. Even our titles are similar. This delights me. Thank you, Tara and Joanna, for a beautiful start to my day.

says:

I love the scrimshaw ship! Such a perfect description. And the puff of cumulus at the end

says:

Thank you! I remember the genesis of this poem so clearly. It’s absolutely literal. My mother had told me there was a hummingbird nest in her lime tree, and I went out to look. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me the nest might be occupied. I got what must have been uncomfortably close before I noticed the adult bird. Although I try to turn it off and just inhabit moments like this, there’s a descriptive voice in my head that’s always turning over words and phrases. The scrimshaw ship was the first image that arrived, right in that moment of startled eye contact.

says:

Yes, those first images are often the most perfect.
Funnily enough we had a hummingbird nest in our orange (not lime) tree when I was a child. I remember the two babies facing opposites directions, fitting so perfectly!

says:

How wonderful!

I never got to see the babies in this case. There was a big storm several days later, and the nest was knocked from its branches. No little ones for that mama, that time. 🙁