In a Nutshell

An empty half-walnut shell lay
upturned on the verandah.
The wren fluttered down
& poked at it with his bill,
hopping all around it
in his big clown feet.

The black walnut half
had two large openings
like holes in a round kayak.
The wren probed one
& then the other, leaving nothing
to chance.

It was time for tea on the verandah,
but nobody came.
The wren flew off.
The walnut shell rocked a few times
& was still, riding high
without ballast
through the long afternoon.