Yarrow House

Hope in a Blue Egg

A Sunday walk along the lake, 
the usual spring floaters—buffleheads, 
wigeons, gadwalls, and scaups. 
And one Pied-billed Grebe pair

circling last year’s nesting spot 
among the lily pads. But the beavers
have cleared away the lily plants.
Now where will they nest? 

One day I’d seen a grebe there, 
nestled on a pile of decaying 
water plants — stems, mud, leaves. 
Through the willows along the shore,

I spied on her. Back to me, she
stood up and just like that
popped out a tiny, blue egg
from her little blunt-tailed behind.

Grebe nests constantly fall apart.
Brooding grebes add to their nests
—lily stems, pond weed, milfoil—
until their babies fledge. And then the nest

rots away. The young grebes haunt
the spot, until one day they, too, are gone, 
but remember the place and return, 
led by old memories to a new season.

Published in Fill of Joy, by Constance Sidles, Constancy Press, 2013.

© Judith Yarrow, 2013

Onetime reproduction for non-resale purposes permitted by the author with the following credit line: by J Yarrow