I thought I’d try to fly. Thought birds
were angels in disguise,
thought God protected his children.
All those nights,
Mother would lie in bed and tremble—
a daisy in a gale, a hummingbird. Sometimes,
I hear her scream. She hated when I climbed
the eucalyptus. Like a bird, Mother said,
small bones. Like a bird, torn feathers. Bones, broken,
so many places—A bird
born to touch the edge of air. Once,
while driving in the rain on Highway 1
I hit a horned buck—watched it rise
from the pavement and walk into the shrubs. I remember
light through the window. Glass in the gums. Wondered
did the animal search the briar for its ilk?
Today, I woke to what I thought
was mother, those usual moans:
This is what the rain has become.
Kathryn de Lancellotti’s chapbook Impossible Thirst was published with Moon Tide Press in June 2020. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems and other works have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, The Catamaran Literary Reader, The American Journal of Poetry, Quarterly West, Cultural Weekly, Rust + Moth, and others. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University and resides in Harmony, California, with her family.