My poem, “What I forgot to Ask” was recently selected for the Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology di-verse-city. The poem found its way into the world after I watched a peregrine falcon lunch on a nuthatch in my front lawn. The nuthatch is unconfirmed, and “lawn” is a generous term for the smattering of beeches and oaks in front of the house.
I missed the reading in Austin, but I’ll savor anthology when it arrives–a long list of talented poets. To order a copy click here. Celebrate National Poetry Month with a bird, cat, human, or mouse of your choice.
(photo courtesy of National Geographic)
What I Forgot to Ask
I do it all the time, mistake flight for freedom;
escape for repentance. If only,
like a peregrine, I didn’t have to explain
my silences or defend my stealth. She descends
cliff ledges with confidence under cover
of camouflage. I cannot leave
this nest of caked mud and broken twigs
or cradle the updraft between fingers.
Too much captivity makes a girl tired.
What language do you have
for the barren days when nothing catches your eye,
when speed doesn’t win? Is there ever an hour
when you want no wings? to tuck feathers away
and wobble on talons like a cripple?
Tell me about the wind, the kind
that quiets fear and lengthens your cries
into inaudible whispers. When do you rest?
For more peregrine inspired work, see my essay “Choosing Peregrine” in the Homebound Publications anthology, Wildness: Voices of the Sacred Landscape