MER - Mom Egg Review

August Poem of the Month

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Megan Merchant

Working the Night Shift

String a white sheet
from the body of trees
in the wild,

set a lantern
behind its screen
and wait

for the flush of
mottled wings
to lisp and net
the light,

note how some
are frayed as
edges of a rug
beaten against
wind,

how the brightest
markings allow
the most brazen
behavior,

a wingspan—that if
crumpled
inside a mouth—
will tart a tongue.

Wait as they collect
like silk eyes
twitching,

paper darts
that shred rain,

and can trace the scent
of a wounded leaf

to know where
to slip their young
safely.

Wait long enough
and they will show
you how to be reborn
into night.

Originally published in MER Vol. 15.

 

Megan Merchant (she/her) is the co-owner of www.shiversong.com and lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ with her husband and two children. She holds an M.F.A. degree in International Creative Writing from UNLV and is the author of three full-length poetry collections with Glass Lyre Press: Gravel Ghosts (2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award), Grief Flowers (2018), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books). Her latest book, Before the Fevered Snow, was released in April 2020 with Stillhouse Press ( NYT New & Noteworthy). She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera, the 2018 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, second place in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and most recently the Inaugural Michelle Boisseau Prize. She is the Editor of Pirene’s Fountain. You can find her poetry and artwork at  meganmerchant.wix.com/poet.

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