View Archives by:


Once Was a Bird

Laurel Snyder

The bird screamed, and we could not love her. The bird pulled
Her feathers from their roots, herself from the story. The bird.

Grew with black wings, dry grey feet, an open beak, sharp.
Cried all at night, cried loud into the wind, who did not care.

One whit. The wind had better things to do. Mountains, Seas.
The bird said, I’ll be the wind, I’ll with the seas, I’ll beyond.
Screaming, the bird went screaming, into the screaming Oh!

And it didn’t matter, the bird, not one whit. Anywhere and there.
It became and fierce, with wings like bare branches. It scared
The children and ate the nights, stormed the days. The bird.

With the frenzy of no sleep, the choke of what’s been swallowed
But not consumed, what has swallowed but won’t be fed. Sorry
And startled in the death of its own its own its own. Jealous death.

Was a hungry. Was a horrible. Was a lonely creature with a voice
Like the end. It came on, the bird. It came on like a lick of dark

The hardest fall.
The greatest loss–a thing which flies but won't be lifted.

Laurel Snyder

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems