They know before we do,

the birds. In the yard,

feeders swing on their chains.

If you think we don’t bury

our cash in the thaw

of the dark dicey frostbite,

you’re wrong. Trust God

or no one, I urge my husband.

Do not answer the door.

I pour vodka down his throat,

call through the cracks

to bring back the warblers.

Bird bird bird, where is your,

when will it, why why why.

What jumps faster

than blood from a vein?

If you think we don’t practice

the dash to the bunker,

you’re wrong. We’ve run out

of drugs and honey,

but we cannot run far,

railcars packed with

no more time. Before

the siren glass shatter,

we walked fine,

and the mistle thrush

spilled operettas

over the sunflowers.

The neighbors are hiding

their children in attics.

The absence of silvery

wings. Do it now,

begs my husband, break

the thermometer, inject me

with mercury, hollow

my bones before lark

and nightingale swallow

each other’s songs.

Jenny Hubbard

A former high-school English teacher, Jenny Hubbard writes full-time in her hometown of Salisbury, NC. Her work has been published over the years in various journals, including Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Tar River Poetry, Nine Mile, Maryland Literary Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology. Both of Jenny’s novels, And We Stay and Paper Covers Rock, have earned major awards from the American Library Association. Represented by Jonathan Lyons of Curtis Brown, Ltd., Jenny is currently under contract with Penguin Random House.

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