In the Calyx

Never will I be a mother

but this morning

when the hummingbird

arrived at my feeder

I learned how one

might find herself

wholly in love

with the miracle

of a small body,

its bill and tongue

darting in and out

the plastic red flowers and fake

yellow stamens,

how earnestly it sips

a simple nectar

of tap water and sugar,

how one tiny bundle

can hold itself

upright in thin air,

zip forward and backward

in joyful figure-eights

then plunge from the sky

to hover again safely. I learn

it's a boy!

watching the reflection of

his red gorget,

the metallic patch turning

black to red

by way of light's angle,

and two glass wings

vibrating so quickly

they appear to multiply

as the seed of Abraham.

Oh how I wanted

to kiss his belly, his forehead,

to bless that ring of fire!

I held my breath

so as not to startle

as my heartbeat kept pace

with his wingsong.

Oh, how the fledgling

arose out of nowhere,

like the stinging in my

swollen breast.

—Originally published in New Millennium Writings