Birds' Day

Under my small red umbrella,
Slapped with sea spray
And a stinging rain,
I have wandered
Into their morning.
The birds don't want me.
Misty days are theirs to gather.
Dig in seaweed, watch the wind.
I have broken rules.
So go softly over the sand.
Around their swelling flocks.
Gently over their fork prints.
I have come to see
What the storm embeds:
Half a wooden boat hatch,
Plastic bottles, a tennis ball,
To search the sands again
For an amethyst lost in Hawaii.

Tomorrow the sun will be out.
Joggers will pound the shells down,
Babies will walk with their mothers,
But no need to search tomorrow.
Magic only comes when birds
Walk backward into the rain.

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Carolyn Dahl

Carolyn Dahl grew up in Minnesota but now lives in Texas. Every winter, she yearns for the stunning beauty of snow and the animals who shared her childhood in that cold, invigorating climate. Without any hope of blizzards in Houston, she creates her own by writing snow poems. Though her grass may be green, she saves her memories in white, which is why she named her new chapbook Art Preserves What Can’t Be Saved (The Orchard Street Press, 2019). You can find her website here.

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