Monday, April 24, 2017

The Cock's Nest by Norman Nicholson


The Cock's Nest

The spring my father died - it was winter, really,
February fill-grave, but March was in
Before we felt the bruise of it and knew
How empty the rooms were - that spring
A wren flew to our yard, over Walter Willson's
Warehouse roof and the girls' school playground
For raising dockens and cats. It found a niche
Tucked behind the pipe of the bathroom outflow,
Caged in a wickerwork of creeper; then
Began to build:
Three times a minute, hour after hour,
Backward and forward to the backyard wall,
Nipping off nebfulls of the soot-spored moss
Rooted between the bricks. In a few days
The nest was finished. They say the cock
Leases an option of sites and leaves the hen 
To choose which nest she will. She didn't choose our yard.
And as March gambolled out, the fat King-Alfred sun
Blared down too early from its tinny trumpet
On new-dug potato-beds, the still bare creeper,
The cock's nest with never an egg in,
And my father dead.

 

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