• Lammergeier Staff

Pandemic Pantoum for the Song Sparrows in my Backyard | Courtney LeBlanc


I discovered it while gardening,

a tiny tangle of branches nestled

into a pot of flowers, petunias

blooming deep purple and bright yellow.


The nest hidden, its brown branches tangled

together on the soil, a perfect circle

held between the purple and yellow blooms.

There were three eggs when I found it,


clustered together inside the nest’s circle,

pale blue with brown speckles, as small as

a penny. Two weeks later there

are five eggs, filling the nest completely.


These small speckled eggs bring

joy in a difficult time. My lonely heart

now filled by these five tiny eggs.

Each day I listen, try to hear


their joyous song, the lonely call

of the mama to her partner, waiting

each day for his return, to hear his response

to her sweet melody. Both parents


incubate the eggs, full partners waiting

on their unborn babies. My friends complain

of doing all the work, of being both parents

to their children while their husbands work behind


closed doors, complaining of the noise their babies

make. Every mother trying to balance

this new world for their children and husbands,

their own tasks deemed secondary, less.


I’m not a mother and still I can’t find balance,

struggle each day to determine what’s important.

Every task deemed less, secondary

to floating through my day.


Now each day I check the nest, determined

to see the babies break into the world,

to eventually float out of the nest

in a soft breath of air.





Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning.


Twitter: @wordperv

Instagram: @wordperv79.

Blog: www.wordperv.com


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