A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Gretchen Hodgin

hails from South Carolina but now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins.

Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Sewanee Theological Review, The Country Dog Review, and The Lyric, among some others.

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To The Bird Trope “I know not yet what I shall sing, I only know the song is there.”—Afanasy Fet

We poets often speak of birds
when navigating through despair
because we’ve never found such words

beneath the cushion of a chair.
And maybe you’re a worn-out trope,
a centuries-long love affair

mankind has had with easy hope
to reach the south before it snows.
But still, a feather need not grope

for light in poetry or prose
the way a saddened finger might.
The song is there. Now just compose.