Ann Keiffer

Simple Will Suffice

I read in the paper that WildCare in
San Rafael, California rescued more
than 540 baby birds last year, including
many disappearing species of songbirds.

Featherless, helpless, the chicks, fallen
or knocked from their nests, cannot survive
on their own. WildCare volunteers hand-
feed them every 45 minutes. But how best
to keep the fragile chicks warm and padded
from injury? A volunteer had an idea…

She knitted a nest of soft wool. The nest
worked so well a call went out, a pattern
was posted, and needles clicked. Bay Area
knitters donated 500 nests and kept going.

How simple and great.

If only we could so easily knit protective
nests to pillow, comfort and keep safe all
the endangered children of the world–
children fallen through society’s safety net,
left vulnerable in war zones, in refugee
camps, in poverty’s grip, in bullet-riddled
streets, in hunger’s maw, in the pieces of
broken families, in homelessness, and all the
dark places where children are abused.

An old saying came to mind:
Stick to your knitting.
Stick to your gift. Give that.
I knit you this poem.

Ann Keiffer
July, 2014

Image Credit: Paul Chinn, San Francisco Chronicle


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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