Jill Bialosky
The Aviary

Out of nowhere came the ravenous sound and I knew she had returned:
the pheasant escaped from the pheasant farm down the road:

wire, the cage of sun through the rafters, hay, dried corn, the smell
of dampness, the incubation of light. Patient hens perched

over their clutch of eggs, their eyes fierce, maternal; heads bent
as if in reverence to the fragility of the unborn.

Winter hardy, able to withstand bitter cold, plumage faded, pecking
her bill against our deck like a careless mother

no longer living in fear of dishonor, no longer ashamed,
abandoning her eggs to feast on scraps of our evening barbecue.

In the half life of an interior room and the wilderness outdoors,
the papery-thin soul of one being and another, we hear her:

the sound of persistence against our wood echoing its desperate
acoustic, the leave-taking and the return. The horrible hatching.

Found In Volume 30, No. 05
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Jill Bialosky
About the Author

Jill Bialosky has published two collections of poems, Subterranean (2001) and The End of Desire (1997). Bialosky is also the author of the novel House Under Snow (2002) and co-editor, with Helen Schulman, of the anthology Wanting A Child (1998). Bialosky has received a number of awards, including the Elliot Coleman Award in Poetry.