They have been following her ever since
she built a safety net under their nest
to catch the barn swallows falling.
Since the first signs and the positive test
her navel has grown firm, her breasts
sensitive and heavy. The barn swallows
keep busy, collecting mud and sticks
lined and hardened, like a palm print
on the tin roof of our patio light.
When she came home to find one
sprawled on her back, her premature wings
failing her, she placed her softly in her nest
while their mother looked away,
pretending not to know she can’t neglect
nursing the children of her nest.