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The Nest

by Karen Baumgart
Bird's nest containing four eggs

Last spring, a fragile nest appeared in our basement carpark. Perched precariously on a water pipe near the ceiling, it seemed too little for eggs or birds. Often, when the door lifted for a car, an improbably tiny bird would fly out.

We never did work out how she knew the door would eventually open again, so she could return with a single twig – or, later, with insects for hungry babies. I only knew that those baby birds, bright-eyed and noisy for worms, made something hurt inside me, swelling at the sight of a small and ordinary miracle.

Karen Baumgart lives in Australia and adores beautiful quotes, pink things, cats, and chai tea. Even after many years, she loves her work in human services policy, especially when it enables marginalised people to have a voice. Karen used to be an English teacher, and is quite certain that writing is, indeed, the best therapy. Her poetry has appeared in Curio Cabinet Magazine, Moss Puppy Magazine, Hearth & Coffin Literary Journal, and Litmora Literary Magazine.

Judge's comment:

The last sentence of this piece seems to sum up everything I was looking for in these micros - "a small and ordinary miracle", something that unfolds in just 100 words, but defies that word count to deliver a much bigger story. That is exactly what I got from this piece - a beautiful scenario, beautifully told; but also so much implication of the wider narrative, all the emotions and ideas trapped within the narrator's swelling hurt.

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