Issue Forty-Three - Winter 2024


by Sherry Mossafer Rind

Sun lights the morning
with mild warmth when I gather the dogs
and go outside to feed the chickens.

Fava plants open blossoms like butterflies,
pink and white with velvet black tongues
offering a faint lilac scent when I bend close.

How do I understand a fellow gardener
in Vilkhivka digging shell casings
planted in his yard?

A screaming fuss of birds draws me
to the drive where a crow stands over a fledgling
lying on its back. Robins dive and sweep

above the crow’s indifference. When I walk to them,
the crow rises to the fence while robins keep mobbing.
In their minds, I am no safer than a crow.

The fledgling’s wing and tail feathers still half-sheathed,
one leg pumps repeatedly. Pain
shrinks vision; I imagine

bewilderment. The gardener still has time to plant
a fall harvest if bombs allow. We compose
from the soil. Every spring

beginners fall and crows steal.
Thousands of lives
fly too far to see.

Copyright Rind 2024