Empty Nest by Louisa Muniz

Empty Nest

All summer long the mourning dove sits
in a shaded crook of the hickory tree.

She nests in a hard-to-spot space
and waits for her forthcoming squabs.

Stock-still, she sits, morning, noon & night.

Our eyes lock as I water the hanging begonia
on the tree’s branch.

The wind slows, then stirs to shape
& shift the air around us.

All summer long I waited for things to fall in place.
Before the surgery, the doctor asked,

would you like a picture of the kidney
you’ll be donating to your husband?

Days later, at home, I prop the picture
on my desk next to the window.

Beyond the window, sunlight leaks
like lemonade into the empty nest.

The song of the mourning dove can be heard.
The shadow of the mourning dove cannot be seen.

Some things resound long enough to be missed.


Louisa Muniz lives in Sayreville, N.J. She holds a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work has appeared in Tinderbox Journal, Palette Poetry, SWWIM, Poetry Quarterly, PANK Magazine, Jabberwock Review and elsewhere. She won the Sheila-Na-Gig 2019 Spring Contest for her poem Stone Turned Sand. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. Her debut chapbook, After Heavy Rains by Finishing Line Press was released in December, 2020.

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