A bird somewhere has given up sleep to prove love.
Some moments demand speaking, so we say nothing.
This is true, though often we tell lies. One day, a bird falls
accidentally. I think the birds are women, really. I’ll remember
these months as a great unburdening. A bird somewhere sings
me too. I would cry out with them, but the daughter growing
inside me would hear what she is coming to. This child
is declarative, like a sentence ending. Finally.
When birds speak on the subject of mourning, on
what a body has done, can do
I want to say it more
plainly—feathered and blue as down as heather as
a leaf twisting—my daughter is mine. One day, I’ll fall.
She may remember the worst of me. A bird somewhere
has given up. These months, I find myself breaking like wet sand.
Allison Blevins received her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and is a Lecturer for the Women’s Studies Program at Pittsburg State University and the Department of English and Philosophy at Missouri Southern State University. She has been a finalist for the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and the Moon City Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in such journals as Mid-American Review, the minnesota review, Nimrod International Journal, Sinister Wisdom, and Josephine Quarterly. Her chapbook A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press), part of the Robin Becker Series, is forthcoming in 2019. Another chapbook Letters to Joan (Lithic Press) is also forthcoming in 2019. She lives in Missouri with her wife and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series and is Editor-in-Chief of Harbor Review.
Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.