by Renee Emerson
Meat and bread dropped from shining black beaks. Bead eyes and feathers. I longed for and hated the shadow of wings across sand. I hid. I stopped my tongue in fear I would reply with the same brash cry. Once I’d held the future in my mouth, spoken with kings. Now only water sifted from stones runs over my teeth, ragged scraps of sinew, torn cake. Hand to the fire, land withering, I wait on the Lord. I pray. After awhile, the brook also runs dry.
Renee Emerson is the author of the poetry collections Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014), Threshing Floor (Jacar Press 2016), and Church Ladies (Fernwood Press 2022). She is also the author of the chapbook The Commonplace Misfortunes of Everyday Plants (Belle Point Press), and the middle grade novel Why Silas Miller Must Learn to Ride a Bike (Wintergoose Publishing 2022). She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children.