Because we are always in need of distraction,

this year it is the birds we want to know all about.

Call each thing by its right name. American Gold Finch.

House Sparrow. Carolina Wren. We get closest to the wren

as she builds her bowl-like nest next to our front door,

lays five eggs, startles each time we come and go. Four weeks

pass by. The wren abandons her unhatched eggs. We forget

about birds for awhile but don’t dispose of the nest because

it’s trying to tell us something, I think, about our divided home.

Call each thing by its right name. Married, separated,

divorced. Unlike the wren we cannot move on.



I am trying to write about a bird. A bird and a nest.

I am trying to write about the nest. The bird could be

the me that I want to be, who understands a futile

endeavor, who abandons the nest, who knows when

it’s time to take flight. If there was any grieving in

her empty bones, she took it elsewhere in the end, away

from the home she made, away from the failure that found her.

Will a distant bough, even broken, still support her song?


Christine E. Salvatore received her MFA from The University of New Orleans. She currently teaches literature and creative writing at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Egg Harbor Township High School, and in the MFA Program at Rosemont College. She is a Gerealdine R. Dodge Poet and her poetry has recently appeared or will appear in The Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Mead Journal,Prime Number Magazine and in The Edison Literary Review. Her poem, Betrayal, was a finalist in the Southeast Review’s 2014 Gearhart Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a 2005 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.