Moongirls of the Medicine Birds

Gillian Cummings


House Sparrow Fledgling

By Eddy Van 3000 via Wikimedia Commons

You were about to float away
so they taught you not to. Soft-crofted
into quiet they come, finely fretted in frocks
of spook light—winged ones they bring,
goldfinch, marlin, wren in enormous nest
plushed with moss to couch their curious cache:
the begin again, spring to startle your winter out of
sleep’s either you’ll wake to wind that washes you like song
or you’ll open eyes on sky untrumpeted in old tempests
of stars, either you’ll come back to your body or you won’t.
But the girls hover over you with their grass-messes
of hair, their eyes mercy-mild, and what the birds
teach in such communal twig-tangle is simple:
how alone, we break; how we’re saved by one another.


Gillian Cummings’ poems have appeared in Boulevard, Colorado Review, The Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly and Linebreak and are forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, Calyx and Crab Orchard Review. She is the author of two chapbooks, Spirits of the Humid Cloud (dancing girl press, 2012) and Petals as an Offering in Darkness, (Finishing Line Press, 2014). A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program, she is also a visual artist.

One Reply to “Moongirls of the Medicine Birds”

  1. “either you’ll come back to your body or you won’t.”

    Its true. Great work.