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The fruit of the bittersweet vine

is toxic to humans but

the birds like it. the vines wind


and around

a wild cherry tree,

carving corkscrews

into its arms. I pry

the vines out,

but leave

enough of a thicket

to support the nest made

from dead fronds of exotic reeds

the neighbor planted,

now wet

and melded

together from

the winter snows,

which were very bad

this year. On top of the nest

the birds have piled white poly-fil,

mounds of fluff from a teddy bear

split down the middle. Through

the little puffs of filaments

they’ve created

a tunnel,

burrowing to the center,

and on top

they’ve set three

bright orange berries

a little snack arranged

for later.

I’m careful

not to disturb.

Corrie Byrne is a poet and artist out of Pennsylvania. She graduated with an M.F.A from Iowa State University's Creative Writing and Environment program, which encouraged writing grounded in cross studies, diverse experiences, and a multifaceted view of the natural world. She likes to write about the nexus between humans and the environment

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