RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (PLATE XXV. FIG. 1)
Hours to measure
the scale of nest to leaf;
to frill each shingle of lichen;
to wind each strand of web
around the branches.
None of it enough
the palm-sized nest
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (PLATE LXL. FIG. 2)
Virginia does not know this bird
alight on the nest.
the birch leaf curled like a lid
like braille, translates ridges
the pinprick holes
wreaths of Vandyke and bistre flecks
Both poems are from a series about Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio (1879-1186), a book begun by Genevieve Jones and completed by her family after her death from typhoid at 32. Before beginning work on the project, Genevieve's mother Virginia had no experience with scientific illustration or creating lithographs. You can view scans of the plates [here] and [here].