To an Ovenbird while Sheltering in Place by Amelia Williams

Photo of blue window trim in old siding
Photo by Anne Nygard on Unsplash
White spotted breast, orange and black
on your head—I wouldn’t have seen if you
were not warm in my hand, but dead.
At the thud of a window strike I ran
for the deck, hoping for merely stunned,
but no chance in the tilt of your neck.
I nestled you in woods-edge laurel,
fetched the soap for crosshatch bars
to mark south-facing windows.
This season at last, brought to ask
which fatalities are fated, I regret
the mobile hung was to no avail.
In this rural calm, so far spared
the siren’s wail of despair, we wait,
worry, wash hands, wear masks.
Unable to see our path, in tangential
grief, make stark the barrier we built—
a warning, I hope, this tic tac toe of soap.

Amelia L. Williams
Amelia L. Williams, PhD, is a medical writer, hiker, and amateur naturalist living in the Rockfish River Valley of Central Virginia. She coordinated The Ties That Bind, A #NoPipelines Collaborative Community Art and Story Project, and her book Walking Wildwood Trail: Poems and Photographs, features an eco-art-poetry trail created to protect landscapes threatened by the now-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Williams’s poems are forthcoming in The Healing Muse and The Hollins Critic, and have appeared in Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry, Nimrod International Journal, 3Elements, Journal of Wild Culture, Origins, K’in, and elsewhere. Find more of her work on her website and twitter, @wildinkpoet.

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