A World Without Birds | Donelle Dreese

2 mins read

They say finch is in the attic running out of songs to sing 

tracking circles on sun-dusted floorboards for the good 

of all bird kind. Once, bluejay who was jealous of cardinal’s 

red coat slit his scarlet neck with a honey locust thorn. 

Then there was burrowing owl who kept burrowing deep 

into earth’s mantle until he retired in a magma nest. They 

say he was desperate to return to the beginning of creation 

and start over. Later, the birds of nautical paradise swooned 

for food and died with plastic in their bellies. Have you seen 

the tanagers, curlews, and ravens? Where are the plovers, 

magpies, and whimbrels? They are all following the whistling 

swans through the dark tributaries. In the serene between storms 

you can hear them whistle row, row, row… life is but a dream. 

Donelle Dreese is a poet, novelist, essayist, and Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University where she teaches multicultural and environmental literatures, women’s literatures, and writing courses. She is the author of three collections of poetry including Sophrosyne (Aldrich Press). Donelle is also the author of the novels Deep River Burning (WiDo Publishing) and Cave Walker (Moon Willow Press). Her writing has appeared in a wide variety of magazines and journals including Blue Lyra Review, Roanoke Review, Louisville Review, and Potomac Review.

Image by Buzz Anderson

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