Here now, flown back to nest since moved in absence,
these streets hold no shadows of my former shyness,
they do not call me by nickname, or your name.
I was never open enough then to be called by your name,
their name, his name, back then when there was no him
and barely a me.
Here now, back to where they began, before me-
their nests, their streets, their lanes, their stories
I’ve since borrowed, not knowing much of my own,
those told before me.
Funny now, to be here, in this nest, perched on this position,
you say it’s home and there’s truth in those words
but it’s like saying we’re family- this was never my home
and our blood is not the same.
We look out at the same land, the same tree, the same leaf
but we do not perceive the same stars at night
when the garden is gone and the universe asks
where did you come from?
We are what we believe. We come back to what we know
regardless of where we’ve been, of who we’ve become.
Of where we started. Adoption can be a cold word
to begin with.
I came from a broken shot off cupid’s bow where a single tear
flooded the moonlight as a siren screamed and one other,
lost to her first song, called out for another chance to hold
a snowflake in her hands. We were both born to sing
in seasons different to our own.
I came back on a wing’s turn to question the concept
of a nest, of where feather first found flight, I came back
older, taller, wiser, to look at youth from this odd angle
of middle age, to look at connection from the perspective
of having already left the nest, to sit, here now, in this garden
freshly trimmed down and cast this bird’s eye view
over where the roots were first planted
and who laid the first twig.
All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly