Murmuration                                                                             by Tyler Robert Sheldon

for Mary Oliver
 
To fly, each bird steps 
into the paling sky
knowing itself as a piece 
of the world. Its place 
in the vortex turning like 
clock hands over some field 
is vital as breath to the flock 
of the body. Starlings flow 
this way to show what might come
if everyone tried together. Here,
they say. We will help you.
 
And below, drivers halt their cars
on the road. Others look up
from their homes. They all gaze
into the spiral, where each bird
makes room for its neighbor,
patient and fluid, waiting
for all of us to understand.

Tyler Robert Sheldon is the author of five poetry collections including Driving Together (Meadowlark Books, 2018). He edits MockingHeart Review, and his work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and other places. A Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Charles E. Walton Essay Award, he earned his MFA at McNeese State University. He lives in Baton Rouge.

Guest Editor Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Master’s in poetry. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. Currently, she lives, works, and writes in Kansas City.

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