L.L. Barkat’s “Love, Etc.” volume 5

from Petit à Petit L’Osieau Fait Son Nid

I have been making a such a nest,

little by little, time after time,

I have been dreaming near a garden

in threads of memories, ruby red.


Friends, this weekend I entered the stage of Nearly Empty Nest when we moved my daughter to school. She’ll be boarding her last three years of high school—something I never anticipated, but something that is the right decision.

This morning, my husband and I were talking about how she’s been gone before—at camps or at grandparents’ houses. This feels different. This is different. NowI get to see what state my nest is in. I have been making it, little by little, all these years.

Perhaps I need a “red thread” like L.L. found earlier in the poem, near the garden. Of course, I have no garden, but as I look over the backyard this morning, every blade of grass is a ruby memory.

I’ve read this poem before, but never aloud until today. It has more internal rhyme than I remembered. I like “mine” as a possessive and “mine” used also as the cave where treasures lay buried.

And of course, I like all the red, as I sit here with my phone in its red case, my Kindle in its red case, my laptop in its red case, my dogs drinking water out of a red bowl.

L.L. writes about “the gold turning red.” I can’t say I started at gold, but gold is bright and shiny, and I have deepened into red. It is a color I had to grow into, and I still might not be there if not for losing my mother, whose favorite color was red.

Following up on my last post about the separation of the heart and lungs in L.L.’s “Lunch at Grand Central” and the wall from “The Fantasticks,” separation is a theme in this poem, too: “it is time to say / what is yours and what is mine” and also “I have been claiming what is mine” and yet there is an invitation: “and inviting you to say / you want the nest, the gold turning red.” When I was pregnant and when my kids were babies, there was little separation. Now it is as if I am “the garden waiting, for what you have to say.”


  1. Threads of memories…I’m there. Two girls heading off to college, our nest needing less downy softness for nestling to rest. Two still at home, though, two still benefiting from woven memories.

  2. Lovely reflection, Megan. Thank you. (and thanks to L.L., too)