Mourning doves are nesting in the hanging baskets

on the wraparound porch, heart-leaf philodendrons

that thrive even though the birds lay eggs in them

so we've stopped watering to save the babies.

We move a basket briefly to inspect the eggs,

and the mother flies around the empty spot

like a passenger plane circling an airport

with no clearance to land, each consecutive pass

more frantic, until she breaks off,

as if the instrument panel showed

a full-scale glideslope deflection,

then returns to overfly the phantom mark,

180 degree turns fixed again on the radius' center,

the distance to it calculated by wing feel,

the final approach.

This is the kind of circling

I imagine we'd do if one of us were gone -

an insistent return to a place both practiced

and loved, but missing. Today we are grateful.

We still live in the trees.

From "Bloom in Reverse," Teresa Leo's second book of poetry, which will be published Feb. 5. © 2014. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. Leo lives in Lansdowne (www.teresaleo.com).