The Agonist Journal

The Empty Nesters

Our winter comes when every bird has flown.
The sparrows fled; the swallows left in pairs.
The maple boughs, once lush with song, hang bare
and outside, our red birdhouse sways alone.

Alone we sit in gathered still until
not one lamp’s lit and every windowpane
is dark with icy silk. We’ll both complain
the tea is always gone too soon. We’ll fill

our mugs with steaming milk instead, so thick
cream coats our throats in speechless white. Nothing
is said as we again forget the tricks

Time plays—these ever-shortening days—and so
like bride and groom, we’ll sleep in silent age,
in borrowed warmth, while night grows soft with snow.