– from the French verb voler: to fly, to steal
On my bedside table, I keep five birds—
a silvereye, a flycatcher, a hummingbird,
a waxwing, and a plover—torn
from a calendar, like a thought-pocket.
Down makes a good coat, I say to the fan,
flying in circles on the ceiling.
I stuff my hands in the pocket and pull
out feathers, acid-green and blue and gray,
and I blame them for lifting her away
like a thief. All children fly the coop,
says a voice that might be my mother’s.
It’s how things go. But my daughter is not
leaving, not yet, except in the way she does
every two weeks when she is due again
at her father’s, and I am stuck again, waiting
on the ceiling, studying a crack as if it were
the Grand Canyon. What a view, I say
to the corner spider. I am not coming down,
not really, not until I figure out how
to paste the 365 pages of the Bird-A-Day
back together, so that I don’t have to
cling to the pale eye-ring of September 12—
the yellow tail band of October 26—
the flight over thin water on a day in July.
Confusing the Words Untended and Unintended, We End Up with Wild Regrets
Minutes poke through the dirt and settle like grasses at the road-
rim. Rough cut, stuck out, no kept edges. Lawn is just a manicured
meadow, hoping to return to something that runs like a mare
along the fence. Something larger than its clocked-in enclosure.
There is a reason the sky drops to the ground in blots of blue
gentian and scorpion flower. It disperses before it disappears, […]
Subscribers can read the full version by logging in.
Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing. She is also an award-winning poet of four books: In Defense of Objects (2009), O Dear Deer (2011), This Too (2017), and Fearn (2019), as well as the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (2000). Poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. She lives in the foothills east of Los Angeles, where she serves as the faculty editor of MORIA Literary Magazine at Woodbury University.