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Shelby Knauss

BPR 48 | 2021

Three-hours-deep in the thick of migration, the bulging
sky sank to the acres of green, and budding from dirt
beneath morning rain the soybeans were churning
a shallow tide that barreled back to the horizon.

But the highway veered, its wet skin slick, and I pawed
at my brake like a dreaming dog, a shriek cutting air—
as if drawn by bow from a weather-slipped string—
shaking a bone in my ear when the semi struck me

Then when June came surely as a fog rolls away,
I watched summer bleed to autumn on the outskirts
of my yard, while a finch—having broken through a flap
in the screen—wove twigs to a nest in my rafters.

She stumbled from her perch into slow, crooked flight
until the white-knuckled grip of the world unfurled
and she dropped from her hold to the floor
of my porch, then lay at my feet like a parcel.

Soon I’ll be opening blinds to bare branches
while mourning the absence of song at my window
and watching the trees—having pulled themselves
inward—patiently wait for the light to return, say,
                   It all happened so fast.