April 6, 2014

When the yellow bird dropped

from the tree, I did not think

to name it.  Its beak clacked, its thin tongue

flickered.  The gray eye was like

the lidded human eye of someone

I loved far back.  The wings

beat against dirt.  I did not cover it

with a leaf or prod it to stop but continued

to watch its failing heart.

After it died, I did not touch

its yellow precision but drew a careful circle

to mark its compass points—tail-feathers

fanned out, head oddly twisted,

legs gnarled as twigs—to mark

its transformation, to mark my witness.


-Alessandra Lynch (Marion County)


first published in The Cortland Review, Issue 58



Alessandra Lynch lives in Indianapolis with her husband poet Chris Forhan and sons Milo and Oliver, and she teaches undergraduate and graduate students at Butler University.  She is the author of two books of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind and It was a terrible cloud at twilight.  “Bird” was first published in Issue 58 of The Cortland Review.

Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem from an Indiana poet every day in April (hand-selected by Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras). Check in daily to see who is featured next!

Posted In: Poetry

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