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.