“A Nest of Robins in Her Hair”

The silhouetted tree who this morning wore a sparkling sheath of knitted snowflakes and sunlight stood stripped bare and alone in the fading sun.  Sadly, I looked at her and mourned her diminished state, her rich robes so recently lost.  My eyes lifted to her twiggy branches reaching upwards to the darkening sky; vague thoughts of bygone summer days flitted dreamily in my mind.  Verdant leaves whispering to the wind. Chirping friends celebrating life and promise.  Squirrels racing delightedly up and down her trunk, daring her not to laugh with wild abandon.  But now, alas, her glory departed, only a shadow of her former self remained.  Turning to go, an abandoned nest caught my eye.  No, two. No, three.  Three nests in her branches!  Then, unexpectedly, a specter of words wafted in my thoughts…a specter of a poem long forgotten, but deeply loved.  “…A tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair…”

My melancholy vanished like mist in the sun.  

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;


A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;


Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.


Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

About bjdonaldson

I'm an average woman who enjoys reflecting on life, writing poetry and ponderings, and having a good laugh. DIY, baking, and cycling are fun, too. If you visited me, I'd invite you in for a cup of coffee and a little chat. I am a Literacy Coach, Reading Specialist, and former classroom and Reading Recovery teacher at an elementary school. Getting up in the morning is not hard; I still love making a difference in the lives of children and teachers.

3 responses »

  1. Thank you for sharing this poem. Interesting for me to read considering we are having an unusually early spring, and the Bradford pears are already in bloom. Feels like we were cheated a season.


  2. I know the first two lines but had never heard the rest. Quaintly earnest, and yet that line you pull out about the “nest of robins in her hair” is lovely and evocative.

    Liked by 1 person

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