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A Bed as a Nest

A Bed as a Nest

– Poetry by Jarrett Ziemer –

Honorable Mention in the 2023 Dreamers Sense of Place & Home Contest

A female Common Yellowthroat
builds a well concealed nest
in 4 to 5 days, migrates,
from Alabama to California,
to escape,

segregated segmented leaves
looking for trees
so densely packed,
to summer in sunshine means
to live within the shade.

A female Common Yellowthroat
mates for life,
with a male,
a few different males,
who know she’s ready

when she flutters her wings,
flushes her black face purple,
chirps in their ear,
and then crushes a Camel
into an opaque ashtray.

A female common yellowthroat is a forager
picking pedals for insects for moths, wasps,
butterflies in her belly,
that only dissipate in the rain
of cough syrup and smoke and Jack Daniels

dripping down her beak,
and onto the bed she lolls in,
where she succumbs to the fact that she is a prey species,
that there are articles that flight cannot handle,
that Northern Harriers and American Kestrels,

and Merlins — hawks —
hawking lungs fluid filled sacs tired feet
aching claws and depression and addiction so deep,
she sometimes just wants to sleep in her bed forever,
are always out to get her.

About the Author – Jarrett Ziemer
Jarrett Ziemer

Jarrett Ziemer holds a B.A. in Professional and Creative Writing from Central Washington University and is currently an MFA student at Western Colorado University. In 2022 Jarrett was the featured poet at the 33rd Annual Headwaters Conference, and his poem “A Fish-Tenkara” was awarded an honorable mention in Deep Wild Journals 2023 graduate student writing contest. You can find Jarrett’s other work in The Manastash Literary Journal, The Belmont Story Review, Variant Literature, Creative Nonfiction Magazine at and at 

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