THE HOMES OF BIRDS 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.