The pine outside my window sways and scrapes
A needle-clustered branch across the glass,
Brushes the roof-edge, draws its feathered shadows
Against the sunlit brick. A broken branch
Hangs down, caught in the crook of a living limb,
Needles brown and stiff, bark pecked away –
There every day and night for me to look at,
Memento mori, not in bone but wood.
Lately doves have come to crowd the branches:
Two, five, today I count a dozen,
Settling their feathers, preening, nodding, cooing.
And now come sparrows too – sudden, agile,
Drawing my eye with motion. A cardinal alights,
His brief bright color reminding me to see.
Holly is a poet, teacher, and apologist exploring the intersection of literature and faith, reason and imagination. She is the author of the memoir Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms.