After March Blew in like an Unholy Wind

by Margaret Koger

Summer, fall, winter …
January 2021 and I’m looking out a window

Where I see a flock of cedar waxwings
resting on the branches of the poplar tree.

For months and months, I’ve been reading
A tale of boys by my side today

Boys whose mother dies of the 1918 flu—
And birds, eyes masked in black, red wingtips

The brethren sail from limb to sinuous limb
Pause to drink from a rain gutter, fly again

Pluck berries from shrubs, swallow them whole
As doctors and nurses swoop from bed to bed

Endurance tried by flocks of new patients.
My thoughts long swollen into a single stream

The birds and I, dreaming in the unquiet air
I bury my head in a pillow.

Margaret Koger, a Lascaux Prize finalist, is a school media specialist with a writing habit. She lives near the river in Boise, Idaho. See more of her poetry online at Amsterdam Quarterly, Thimble, Trouvaille Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Ponder Savant, Subjectiv, and Last Leaves. Arabella Luna Friedland is a visual artist and writer based in New York City. She’s influenced by a childhood with cartoons, a classical education in anatomy and life drawing, and a firm belief that all art — is a portrait.