The Homes of Birds by Brook Bhagat

By Brook Bhagat
I understand the funeral I have
 the address the dress the time
 It begins with smiling cameras 
 and ends with paper tablecloths, 
 deviled eggs and cold cuts downstairs I
 understand but it 
 doesn’t feel right
 none of it
The worst part is the day outside
 with its sunshine all those
 empty minutes left and I think
 I would have lost it if not
For the hike, still in our black together, 
 you and Ben, the boy,
 me and my sister arm in arm 
 down the easy path at
 Garden of the Gods,
 lighter than before, noticing the homes
 of birds in the rocks and remembering
We are just a moment, fragments
 of a mystery that flies and sings.

“The Home of Birds” by Brook Bhagat. Copyright © 2019. First published in A Walk with Nature. Reprinted in A View from this Wilderness’s Nature Readings (2020) and A Story in 100 Words (2020 nature writing contest winner) and first-round winner of the 2022 Colorado Hearts and Minds Contest.