Begin with a thread, however small,
the kind the ash-throated flycatcher weaves
into a nest, a fury, a bristle of sticks
and little throats, the makeshift crosshatch
of all the brittle wreckage of the yard:
the cigarette filter, bits of string,
skeletal leaves in the shapes of trees.
Somewhere a lace slips through an eyelet.
A snake skin rises from the leaves.
Some break in the weather calls all birds
to stitch the illegible into a new order,
which in turn longs to raise a little chaos.
To weave not only the eye of the nest
but the hunger that fills it, the lantern
made of feathers that spill over into light.
A cradle of music then, like the open
wound of a trumpet that plays so sweet
the men of both garrisons stop to listen.
And what a soldier hears is what we all hear,
the new dead come to life, if only briefly,
staring up in their blindness at the stars.
Wind blows the brittle grass of their hair.
They too are made of hollow places, nests,
their mouths gaping, calling out in song.