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Hummingbird, First Thing, Birthday Morning
Gillian Nevers


Before coffee. Backlit by the mid-risen sun
    blazing white over the gray sea, whirr

of beating wings blocked by surf pounding,
    you appear,

Oh, little messenger
    of the day to come.     

Before the sun arcs high
    in the late March sky, sending

splashes of light like shards of glass glinting
    over the water, before the sea turns

three shades of turquoise, before
    fishermen seine bait in the shallows, before

umbrellas scatter stripes of green and yellow and orange
   across the sand and snorkel boats gather

at the reef, and before you drop
    to suckle the pink bougainvillea,

my heart slows, knowing the nectar
    this day will bring.

This poem first appeared in In Other Words: Merida (2012).
Used here with permission.

Gillian Nevers started writing poetry in 2002 after retiring from a career working with victims of crime.  An active member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, she co-edited the 2021 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. Gillian’s poems have appeared in several print and online literary magazines and anthologies and her illustrated chapbook, The True Story, (Fullers Windy Acres Farm Press) won second place in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ 2019 chapbook contest. She also won second place in the 2008 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters statewide poetry contest and received an Honorable Mention in the Academy’s 2019 contest. In addition to writing poetry, Gillian has taught poetry to adults in the Road Scholar program and to children in public schools and through the Greater Madison Writing Project. She has two grown sons and lives in Madison with her husband, Dan, and their most recent rescue dog, Luckydog.


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Beautiful poem, Gillian!
Posted 03/24/2021 06:18 PM
Watching the hummingbirds is good therapy, physically and mentally!
Posted 03/21/2021 01:33 AM
Lori Levy:
This poem creates a beautiful picture.
Posted 03/19/2021 03:31 PM
michael escoubas:
Congratulations Gillian, on this visually rich, evocative poem.
Posted 03/19/2021 10:49 AM
Each stanza drinks in the morning and baits you for the next one. Simply beautiful and fulfilling.
Posted 03/19/2021 10:46 AM
Beautiful details! Love this one!
Posted 03/19/2021 10:36 AM
Beautiful color therapy on this March day. Happy birthday to you, Gillian. MZWindau
Posted 03/19/2021 10:25 AM
Beautifully written poem! What a way to celebrate a birthday--sun, sand, and hummingbirds. (I am guessing this poem was not written about Madison in the middle of March!)
Posted 03/19/2021 10:06 AM
Happy birthday, Gillian! May you continue to scatter sweetness into our world!
Posted 03/19/2021 08:04 AM
Larry Schug:
My heart slows also after absorbing this poem. Truly, you set a beautiful scene.
Posted 03/19/2021 06:54 AM

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