Bluebirds in the Mine

bird houseI opened my bluebird house to clear it,

get it ready for the next year’s brood.

What I saw instead…

Instead of ants, sticks, guano –

Two perfect little feathery bodies lay still, eyes hollowed, dead.


I remember last spring a strange cold snap

Two worried bluebirds peeked into their home’s hole,

precious products too big for them to enter,

with wiggly grasshoppers held to little mouths.


Cold went on many days, rain, fog, frosty mornings

We had fires at night, remarked at the chill.

As the amber glistened in our wine glass

Two creatures struggled helpless in the dark.


Little feathered bodies fell from the grim box

And I left them, food for someone else’s struggle

Against the changing of the light, the air, the sea.

Against the maelstrom let loose on land.



Shuddering, I looked aloft, the ominous empty sky

Yesterday jackrabbit hopped to the trough, a drink.

His mate hit last week, destroyed. He stood at the roadside,

next year’s leverets, a wistful, fruitless dream.


Our California oaks, like giants toppled

Mutilated and haunting on their rocky crags.

Each creature bent, lonely in its paradigm

Toward the solitude of its own Silent Spring.

3 thoughts on “Bluebirds in the Mine”

  1. A very lovely piece of writing, Carrie. I like how you mention the comforts of firelight glistening amber in “our” wine glasses and kind of an ambiguous note to “two creatures struggling in the dark.” Referring to bluebirds? or wine drinkers who also live in “the mine.”

    Liked by 1 person

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