• Loralee Clark

Loralee Clark, one poem


Babes

My daughter said

“If you write about this

and read it to me,

I’ll hate you forever,” because

who wants to be reminded of

a hatchling, fallen from the nest,

its neck broken while your mother

had to push a shovel through thick roots

to return its body back to the earth?

She named her Cherry Blossom Tweeter.

Worse still was the reality

that its sister, dazed and exhausted,

could be returned to the nest—

not taken home in the cardboard box,

a tiny pillow gracing the bottom.

There would be no protecting it from

cats, no nurturing it into the absence

of panic.

Its eyes never opened as she

stroked its head, as I cradled the warm,

pin-feathered body, as it panted from fright,

its spindly legs all bone and claw.

She couldn’t feel it shaking

with each movement of her fingertips,

wasn’t old enough for its droopy head

to signal the nurturing that only

a mother can provide.

Only my eyes were the ones that saw

past the bare, feather-pricked body

into the memory of my daughter’s floppy neck

and mottled skin.

Loralee Clark ‘s work has appeared in The Binnacle, Penwood Review, Cape Rock, Grasslands Review, The Iconoclast, The Sierra Nevada College Review, and Maine Review. She has a poem published in the anthology “The Pagan’sMuse: Words of Ritual, Invocation, and Inspiration”, edited by Jane Raeburn.


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