Poems by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

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Murmuration

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

From Canary Fall 2014

Sarah lives on the Great Plains in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Today the frost on the windshield is barely there,
like tiny birdsí footprints, dainty and forked,
or the Vís of flight in a childís drawing.
I donít scrape the ice, just ease onto the busy street,
flashes of a hundred headlights stark
against the glittering morning as folks rush
to work, hunched against their steering wheels,
and the cold, and the dull of Monday morning.

I pause at a crowded intersection, cars stopped
as people avoid eye contact and wait their turn
to turn away from one another. The frost figures
on the glass float over my sight as I turn the car.

They look like a murmurationóa thousand starlings
synchronized in the sky, undulating waves like a scarf
above the Plains, coming together and swaying apart,
soft like wheat or sorghum until the mass moves
overhead and the rapid rustle of wings reveals
the force it takes to keep this thing precise, pristine,
moving on a dime, a collective body, warm and beating,
each knowing in an instant where the other is going.

We move as oneóthe bird-ice and meórhythmic,
turning together like dance, waltzing through town
until the crystals begin to melt, muddy the window,
and I arrive at work, stop the car, leave them to the sun.




Seeing, Choices

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

From Canary Spring 2014

Choices must be
simpler for starfish,
who donít see
the world
like you or me,
colors and shapes,
texture, movement,
each decision
influenced
by how images
conjure the histories
lurking somewhere
in our brains,
the way these shade
what we see, do.

No capacity
for memory, legacy,
starfish know only
light and dark,
eyespots tipping
each slender leg,
stretching out
pentagram
to glimpse
the wide world
only slightly,
choice merely
between shimmer
or shadow.




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