Wren Sees the Future
Tiny bird, brown feathers, quivering with song. Wren has long
presaged the end of time. She knows the Welsh used the same
word for her as for druids; but only druids, of course, sacrificed
humans. Wren fights no such battles. She searches for bugs
in the hedges, resists singing a mournful song, though she knows
the boys want to kill her, want to bring her body back to the village
like a totem for a prize. Male wrens are the nest builders,
but our Wren knows better. She wills her hollow bones strong,
builds a nest in a tall oak tree: Boys and druids be damned.
She doesn’t have the patience to dwell on trivialities between
her songs. She moves on. She knows, for example, where to fly
when it gets cold and just how to find sustenance, can hear
the susurration of insects in the hedge. This is not memory,
this is prowess, sinews of truth feathering from her heart to her pink
feet. She doesn’t remember when the boys started hunting her,
cannot recall why, even though she saw it coming, even though
she understood in her marrowless bones that protest songs can’t
always keep the predators away. She keeps singing.
TASHA GRAFF lives and writes on the coast of Maine. Nominated for Best of the Net in 2016, her work has appeared in such publications as THRUSH Poetry Journal, English Journal, Rust + Moth and From the Fishouse. Her chapbook Similarities is available from Finishing Line Press.