A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Rachel Dacus

Rachels first poetry collection, Earth Lessons (Bellowing Ark Press), was followed by a poetry-and-music CD, A God You Can Dance (CanDance Productions) and a collection from David Robert Books, Femme au chapeau.  A new chapbook, Another Circle of Delight, was recently released by Small Poetry Press.

Among her journal credits are Bellingham Review, Boulevard, Comstock Review, The National Poetry Journal, North American Review, and Rattapallax. Her prose is featured in an anthology of travel essays: Italy, A Love Story (Seal Press, 2005).

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How They Grew

The car keys stab my thigh at every step on the path
that parallels a road I drove for three miles to walk
through eucalyptuses and grow
smaller in a widening landscape.

A short swing away
from the highway’s din and a blue
swoop of wings alights on a branch. Bluebird!
First one I’ve seen here. He tosses me
                               ribbons of song, limber

as a ballerina warming up, sinuous as the sound
of the deep ripples that occasionally pass
under our foundations. Farther, an uprooted tree’s
black spokes crown the empty sky

over a creek as fluent and full
of ghost extinctions and new breeds
as this bird’s throat is rich. Past the distant seethe
of a city, in a small greenbelt  
                               a stream braids and braids.

Nothing seems to change. Spring after spring,
I’ve smelled the pineapple scent of buckeye trees.
Heard finches double-voice themselves
with larynxes that allow a self-duet  
                               we have yet to learn.

I wander a soft hour, return

to find the improbable bluebird
still in his tree. I study his bead of an eye
with my own. One of us, a new thing.
His feathers flare and he lifts

                               off the ground I cannot leave.
How small lemurs must have watched his ancestors
stretch out their leathery limbs
and tilt out of catastrophe—how they looked up
to see that incomprehensible new ride.
As their ancient foe
                               grew smaller in the sky.