Birds sweep through the gut strings of a harp, its neck arched like a wing.
A tall, scarred pine tries hard to be an instrument creaking in wind.
Crows are done lifting twigs into impossible nests, long veins of green thorns knit with a dryer's screen scruff of lint. They are done with summer black masks, with cursing our wooden stoves, creosote rising into practiced shadows, mothers and fathers. They are done waiting for those asleep in the dust of earth to awaken; for those yet not willing to give up heavy coats to join their splintered winter roosts. Can you hear them mocking our grassless yards? When it snows, streaks of clouds drag color into my eyes. I lift my face to catch the flash of ice breaking off our shingled roof, dirt-flecked prisms melting into half sunlight before striking the ground.
Pushcart Prize recipient and Founding Editor of Four Way Books, Dzvinia Orlowsky is the author of five poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including Silvertone, Convertible Night, and Flurry of Stones, co-winner of the 2010 Sheila Motton Book Award. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2008 as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary. Her translation from Ukrainian of Alexander Dovzhenko's novella, The Enchanted Desna, was published by House Between Water Press in 2006. She teaches poetry at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College and at Providence College.