The Whisky Blot
Journal of Literature, Poetry, and Haiku
to be a bird.
i’ve navigated these lows
so long with the aching desire to soar.
in the low-country hills, in the wash of spring
a dead groundhog is splayed on the pavement:
his intestines a rosette of color on the algid gravel.
my tires barely miss him; i issue a prayer in the rear-view mirror,
as i am certain my mother has done for me over the years,
watching me drag the baggage of myself across the verdant hillside of my home.
in the rush of city traffic, i shrink to my smallest
form, injured peregrine, white belly from months of isolation.
i dive into the backroads, back towards home.
the groundhog, having heard or not heard my prayer, still spills himself as an offering, a red-shouldered hawk perched atop his carcass,
trying unsuccessfully to carry him away.
and i wonder which one i am more like –
the hawk, given brilliant wings, but unable to fly,
or the groundhog, offering his insides to the world, and no one able to carry them.
Mela Blust is an award nominated poet whose work has appeared in various literary journals such as The Sierra Nevada Review, Rust & Moth, The Bitter Oleander, and many, many more. She has written two books of poetry with a third on the way, and can be followed on twitter as @melablust.
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