Slack little lump punctured by pin feathers,
rain-speckled, muted wings pitched back by
the tarmac's solid shock. Near passerine, perhaps,
eye rimed with dirt, fixed on some distant point in air
the coordinates of its mistake. It's not the first
I've swerved the stroller to avoid / broken breast-
bone, milky gaze / how suddenly the stride of a day
changes tempo and a moment turns to matter
granular and sharp as roadside grit. I've cast my body
into hope and returned fulfilled and emptied,
fearful still of what lasts and what is lost. Like
hollow bones, a thing will always carry
its own absence.
Catherine Gander is associate professor of literature at Maynooth University, Ireland. She has lived and worked in several countries, and is a critic, poet, scholar and artist. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in a number of journals and books, including Ink Sweat & Tears, Juniper, Poetry Ireland Review, Wolf Poetry Magazine, and the Irish Times.