To the Swallow This Spring at the State Park’s Nest Box


I own nothing of you

nor this leaf that shivers

into a half-bud above

the phlox and blue flax

that burrow with me

into this old winter grass.

Yet how much I yearn

for your blue-struck wing

like an arrow over a sun-

struck river, as if it were some

prayer to fit between

my strange and lonely palm,

so hollow its feathers,

so frail I could breathe through them,

so iridescent the sky

you harbor down that

whoever hammered this wood

together did so

in such hurry, in such

love, that even the nails

were left unflattened. And now,

here, your nestling waits

at this world someone

cored into the box for it

to see: a little

knot of light,

a song

to dip and break against.


Poem by Kathryn Winograd

Kathryn Winograd is a poet and essayist. She has published two collections of lyric essays and one collection of poetry, which won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her poetry has received three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXXVIII. She teaches creative nonfiction and poetry for the Regis University’s Mile High MFA program.