I built a birdhouse on my chest,
nails driven into my breastbone,
skin puckering and gray at the edges.
A work of shoddy craftsmanship,
but, oh, I wanted to hear a warbler
sing right against my heart.
I lined the splintered cedar
with dried iris and cattail wisp--
this cradle for a birdling
still damp and unformed.
But the house and I both
remained empty except for a knock
and the echo of my own hand,
except where wood mites scrawled
their field notes all along the walls.
Burning Haibun for Scattered Ashes
Listen to the river run, the birch dying well before its 50 years, the scraps salmon swallow into their silvered bellies—it’s all for nothing, some would say, but I still asked God to give them a little more time. There was a boy who tried to jump, and when that didn’t work, he found another way—another way to erode like the steep sides of the bank, another place for the restless fireflies to settle, and if last words were roots, they would say,
Listen to the river dying the scraps salmon swallow
for nothing. Some would say I asked God
to jump, and when that didn’t work, he found
the steep sides of the bank for the fireflies,
last words, roots.
dying for nothing, some say.
I asked God for roots.
Taylor Hamann Los holds an MLIS from UW-Milwaukee and is an MFA student at Lindenwood University. Her poetry has appeared in CLOVES Literary, Split Rock Review, EVOKE, and perhappened, among others. She lives with her husband and two cats in Wisconsin. You can find her on Twitter at @taylorhamannlos or at taylorhamannlos.wordpress.com.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.