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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Skylark;

A song to a lost sister

 

            I weep for you

            You laugh at me

            Once we were birds of one breath

           

            stolen from other nests

            before we knew what home meant

            You'd perch yourself on the middle stair

            and wait for my arrival

 

            I taught you to fly

            We lept into space

            soaring to new heights

            making the Eiffel Tower look short

 

            They'd ask us to sing for them

            and we did

            with unsteady voices

 

            We made a nest together out of old photographs

            a corner within corners to rest our necks

            Our family built altars to dead children's bones

            their sadness running through our feathers

           

            two Bachman's Warblers* in a crook of ravens

            needing to break free   of our copper threads

 

            I did finally-

            losing a foot to the method

            but you decided to stay

 

            And now I circle

            overhead

            my breast full of our song

            I wish you could hear it now

                                   

                                    —Julia Harm

 

*Critically endangered/possibly extinct migratory bird of beautiful plumage that wintered in Cuba.