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.