KR OnlinePoetry

Hope

from the Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring 1991, Vol. XIII, No. 2

. . . is the thing with feathers—
Dickinson

Too much torque on a wing, and the branches
of the box elder, honeysuckle vines,
disappear. Each smack, when panic bounces
the bird off concrete blocks, ups its chances
of next time sailing back through a broken
window that my husband never fixes,
although I’ve asked him to time and again.
He finds them on the smokehouse floor, senseless.

I was in the bedroom, trying to mate
dark socks, when he offered me the redbird
like a wrong-shaped valentine. With it lying
left side down on his palm, still breathing
but staring elsewhere, I couldn’t avoid,
in that black, the eye’s minute point of light.

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Lee Harlin Bahan is a poet and translator with a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University of Bloomington. Notes to Sing was published in 2016 by Finishing Line Press. Her chapbook Migration Solo won the first Indiana Poetry Chapbook Contest and was published in 1989 by the Writers’ Center Press of Indianapolis.