The Nest in Winter

Kimiko Hahn

In the Father’s shadowy hoard
pillows belch feathers across
mattress and floors:
what was an oriental rug, now
a carpet of scat, gone-astray socks,
calendars from rescue shelters
angling for checks.
There’s nothing to toss
among the vivid tethers to
Mother. Maybe my mother, maybe Father’s.
There’s no margarine container
any less pathetic than
a netsuke from Kyoto;
no expired sardine tin less urgent
than a dozen aerograms; no
receipt less intimate
than their honeymoon photo
snapped in the local aquarium.
The adult daughter takes in
the spew,
pabulum that a bird feeds its nestling.

Kimiko Hahn is author of nine books, including Volatile, The Unbearable Heart, The Artist’s Daughter, The Narrow Road to the Interior, Toxic Flora, and Brain Fever. She is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York and the president of the board at the Poetry Society of America.
Originally published:
January 1, 2019

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