Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after years of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

This time last year

The shadows are falling the same as they were last year
The early summer calm sounds the same as it did last year
As it did at this same time last year, when the babies died
When the babies died, and the mama grieved for days.

—Terri Guillemets