We are all bird people, says your child.
What makes us like birds? you ask.
Our hands, says small goldenhair –
they’re like wings.
You, bird-mother, gorge yourself with feathers,
stuff them in your mouth till you’re choking.
Becoming a bird is harder now
with the years’ gathering weight,
but for this child
it requires nothing
but faith in their own self.
You can be a girl or a boy,
says goldenhair, you can be
anything you choose
you too can be a bird
By Sara Norja
My neighbor, the bow hunter,
keeps a false buck in his back yard,
he fills it with arrows from the deck.
One night I looked out and saw two—
a doe staring down the decoy’s blank eyes.
I imagined her coaxing his stiff flanks to run,
I willed her to do the same.
One day as I went for a walk
in the woods, our mutual crashing
caused me to meet the eyes
of the doe. As her two fawns escaped
up the hill behind her, we held each other’s gaze
from across the creek and I felt,
in us both, a kind of desperation—
I wanted her to stay so I could cling
to that moment, that feeling, how alive
we were together,
She wanted me to stay
so I would not fill her with arrows.
by Eryn Killian
Help me to name this:
You dance to Beach House in the hallway between classes,
arms out and spinning, fluid
in your own smiling ocean.
My heart is dyed and caramelized by this,
and I can taste it.
The taste of figs,
sparks of loose wiring.
The taste of skin and movement.
Sara Norja dreams in two languages and has a predilection for tea. Born in England and settled in Helsinki, Finland, she lives for words, dance, and moments of wonder. Her poetry has appeared in venues including Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, inkscrawl, Through the Gate, Stone Telling, and Interfictions. Her short fiction has appeared in various venues including Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, and the anthology An Alphabet of Embers (ed. Rose Lemberg), and is forthcoming in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. She blogs at http://suchwanderings.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter as @suchwanderings.
Eryn Killian is a Southern native and Midwest transplant, an archivist by day and a writer by night. Her work often deals with weird folklore, strange women, and meeting the animal gaze, and has previously appeared in The Goliard.
Brian Keathley received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Tennessee. He currently lives in Tulsa, OK where he teaches 9th grade English. He has previously been published in Eclectica, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Literary Orphans.
©2016 “Bird People” by Sara Norja
©2016 “Because Everyone Writes Poems About Deer” by Eryn Killian