Terri McCord, Two Poems

Wild Goose Poetry Review, No 33, Fall 2017


The bird’s nest is
a tight-woven cuneiform
twist of sticks.

My finger walks the texture
again and again.

I was learning how and when
to shift gears on a 24-speed
along a paved path that runs
between warted rock walls.

It can be tactile. Intuitive. That is how.

I had looked for a literal nest
since I received the two-inch block cube
with a painted bluebird’s head,
such poignant draftsmanship
and care.

This nest, left on the trail, was rather flat—
either windblown, never finished, never used or all three.

He suggested I carry
it home on my head as a hat.
I thought of a bracelet—my wrist ringed
with straw, my fingers five baby birds.

Later, I set
the nest on a shelf,
pulled up its sides for depth
and laid the squared faux bird
at the center. An art piece.

Nature’s nest in the flowered window box
this year can’t be touched yet
but by the wren
who comes and goes, shifts
to eggs unbroken. And waits.
That would be when.




This day seems made
to bray, be loud as
carmine-colored trees,
chomp clouds
that are popcorn or rock candy.

Use these thick, baring limbs
as corbels and become
pure voice
that weighs in
under a pound,
a mere pinch,

before temperatures drop
a brisk 20 degrees
and the breeze guillotines,

even before you put away
the Ziploc of bristled seed pods
from Mexican sunflower
gifted you at lunch

and the thank you is to keep
all the way
through this quiet.


Bio: Terri McCord is a South Carolina Arts Commission fellowship recipient and has won awards from the Poetry Society of South Carolina, Emrys, Hub City, Kennesaw Review, and the Southeast Review. She has worked with school-age children, and she has taught at Anderson University and Clemson University.

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