239 • Empty nesters

239 • Empty nesters

I went to the Garden of Love
To marry my sweet turtle-dove.
But we got so depressed
In that tiny, cramped nest
That we each gave the other the shove.

The first line, above, is appropriated from Our Great Poet; the rest is triteness itself … well-suited to the wearisome scenario it depicts. A cuckoo typically expels its step-siblings, and step-parents, in order to annex their space for itself; but in this instance the nest is left wholly untenanted. One might expect close confines to provide the perfect milieu for connubial satisfaction; but here they promote a different category of physical cooperation. A significant degree of acrobatic rapport must have been required for the partners to achieve simultaneous expulsion.

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