Trish Shields, CA




Free Verse


waking terrors


birds flying
through smoke and cinders
feathers caught in a branch
stripes across a barren field
standing shiva in the cold ash
caught by the wind, seeding
soil blown over the land
tucked into the corners
during roll call
hands flapping
against slack jaws
eyes that cannot weep
nights without the praise of heat
dusty shadows wearing
ink on arms or chest
young and old waiting
for the puff of bellows
each breath cold death
for the beast that never sleeps









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