Goldenrod

These days, I lean into darkness: ten times

over, I sing madrigals, sign cards. Sweet times

 

find their vowels in birds’ wings, radial syntax

of carpus, metacarpus, alula. Digits of times

 

I’ve watched them brighten, spin—the clock’s

a scattered sparrow, keeled for seeds, nine times 

 

out of ten finding none—now, the muscles used

for flight unhinge and falter, tiny bones mark times

 

the eye’s looked low, the skull’s aspects unfuse,

whistles hasten from hollow bones. Lean times

 

sliver off the intertarsal joint, synsacrum, coracoid

and scapula, wishbone. Birds I’ve seen in times

 

of drowning appear flightless—winged birds shift  

weight, bellow air into dead space. Even times

 

of grief glimmer in sternums, elongate the ossified 

unknowns. I shiver: amniotic fluid marks times

 

of birth, of exit (dappled, arrowing). If I’m here

to witness, I will brave it, singe and land ten times

 

over ice, past stone. Words halve tongues: dark

nights double up, weightless, lacking teeth. Times 

 

for weeping coincide with danger: gardens, beaks

hide the spent arrival of flames. I’ve wiped times

 

tables from my mind, razorbills from my repertoire—

each day, I wake to scales, claws, spurs. If times

 

of hundred miles, of hope, are left unfinished, don’t

think migration’s forgotten for good. Echo times

 

of gliding, hasten on spring: I’ll fast forget (caudial, 

cranial) this sightline, these shell-hatching times.

Published online May 17 2016.

Rebecca Givens Rolland is a writer, educator, photographer and consultant. She has a doctorate from Harvard in Human Development and Education and is also a speech-language pathologist and learning specialist, with a focus on early childhood. She is also an award-winning fiction writer and poet and a contributor to Brain, Child magazine.


Poetry Only cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poetry Only,’ the Spring 2016 issue of CV2.

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