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A hummingbird’s wings might beat a thousand
strokes a minute. The birds can swerve, hover,
fly backwards and straight up, their hearts beating
faster than other birds’ hearts.

Their nests are walnut-sized, a child’s tea cup
of a nest, a lichen-coated thimble
lined with plant matter, barely visible
and beautiful, tiny objet d’art.

The female lays eggs the color of cream
like infinite treasures fragile enough
to revere whose purpose is only this:
to break. Little bodies and beaks and wings

in miniature of miniature
become what they’re meant to be, more than we
can say about ourselves most of the time.
Their sacred thrum makes our hearts beat faster.

—Elinor Ann Walker

Image via Creative Commons