High water sucked the beach clean of debris.
High winds downed boughs and the high osprey’s nest.
She perches on a driftwood log, half-dead,
eyes on the tide, without her fledglings now.
All June she dropped fish in the crowded aerie,
its crown of twigs topping a patchy pine:
the racket then, like bagpipes on the sea
blown by a piper still drunk in the morning.
We wondered if without her nest she’d go.
She was our bird, her cry our intimate,
a siren-wail each time we crossed the beach.
Rebuild, poor mama bird, we thought. But no.
Nor has she left completely, her hard drone
continuing, though not to do with us,
an obbligato rifling the wind,
a radar beacon that sends back no ping.
We see her at the tops of farther trees,
without a place to shelter, keeping watch
over the broken nest, the blasted pine,
scanning the rocks for something left to guard.