Carol Ann Duffy - NEST

I was a mother again, when you came back
from the broken world; to wait with me
for our garden to wake from its cold sleep,
while scientists stirred and sipped at their vaccines.

In the winter of lockdown year,
you cut your own hair;
placing the pale brown tresses and locks
on newspaper. May I have? I said.

I’d read somewhere that birds would use hair
for their nests; so when the snowdrops came and went,
I put it down on the softening grass-
bronze and copper and gold on green.

Then I snipped it safe; left it there
for the rain to rinse, for the sun to dry.
By spring, it was gone. I saw a wren
with a beakful of moss; a blackbird tug at a web.

You laughed when I told. What the actual…?
But I am your mother and when you leave,
I will not see, or search for, the nests I know
to be there. In every one, a strand of your hair.