The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Narrow Bridge by Robbi Nester


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from Narrow Bridge by Robbi Nester, released by Main Street Rag in 2019. 

Field Notes

The voice of the bird
in the maple
is bigger than his body.
He trills the same six notes repeatedly,
but with such zest, they might be a symphony.
He makes those six notes do
for every nuance, every mood,
or perhaps he only needs to tell
how it feels to sing,
warm sunlight on his wings,
flying under low clouds.
He learned his narrow repertoire
and now will teach it to his sons.
His needs are few.
The sun through lacy leaves,
a likely nesting spot,
secure and sheltered.
A slanting shield of rain against the bark
on gray spring days
plays counterpoint to his song’s
simple phrase.


Robbi Nester lives and writes in Southern California. She is the author of four published books of poems and editor of three anthologies. A retired college educator, she was elected in 2011 to the Academy of American Poets. Currently, she writes reviews and curates two poetry reading series as well as being an editorial consultant on the New Voices Project. Her poetry, reviews, and other writing appear widely in journals and anthologies.

Stephanie L. Erdman graduated Purdue University and received her master’s degree through Indiana University. Her first poetry collection, Pyrrhonic, is available through Dos Madres Press and her second collection, Sankhara, is upcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Stephanie describes her style as anything with music and novelty. Stephanie lives in Northwest Indiana and works as a professor of English, editor, and professional tutor. She lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan with her dog, cat, 18 chickens, a transient partner, and persistent impostor syndrome.

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