The Adirondack Review
FALL 2017
Three Poems
​Easter Sunday

There, late spring, in the cover 
of stinging nettle we find the body
of a bird. You think it’s a sparrow,

I say lark, guess it must have hit
the window too hard. Maybe
it was my fault for growing plants

inside, or keeping the window too clean, 
a perfect mirror of the sky. Maybe 
it thought the house a haven, a place 

to raise its young. I say we should bury it. 
You say to leave it for the strays 
I’m always feeding and then I bury it 

anyway, pick out river-stones 
and gravel for the mound. That night 
I dream of the bird, its twiggy, mangled 

leg, the shattered beak. Can’t shake
the guilt of family. Next day I rise long 
before you, morning itself still foggy 

with sleep, to pluck away the stones, hope 
the lark or sparrow is a different kind 
of Christ, that it might live—

was Mary so different at the tomb 
of the Lord, only kept back by legionnaires
of Rome? Even Jesus took three days to rise

but patience is a virtue I have never known
and here, in the shallow itch of nettle
I have no soldiers standing guard. 

The bird isn’t kin to Heaven despite
its wings and I know nothing of divinity, 
or of motherhood, or flight. 

The bird is still a bird, but slightly less—
a lark or a sparrow, almost-seraph trapped 
in the darkening whole of the world. 

To the Second of Many Horizons

It’s storming when the plane 
takes off from Arlington
but by the time I’ve accepted

I’m moving in the opposite 
direction of rain, we break
into the clear blue of infinity.

Horizon, on the ground I thought 
I knew you, thin band clinging 
to the earth like a lover, but here

I understand that you are more
like the mushroom I found
in my garden last spring

and there is never only one. 
Here, a second sea above 
the sea, still vapor, still alive. Here

lightning flashes like the silver 
throats of eels, narrow bodies
in the wisp-thick ocean of cloud

where thunder is the crush
and crash of tide, ever reaching
for the impossible love of the moon. 

Horizon, that I could find 
your edge and tumble over, rid 
myself of this strange sympathy 

for God, forget that he will never 
discover anything. Never awe 
at the turning prism of the world. 

Back on Earth, someone is taking 
a shit. Someone is laughing. 
Someone is forgetting 

their name to find the subtlety 
of death, the only home
that God can never know. 


We go to the cemetery to read tarot 
at Emily Dickinson’s headstone, but

arrive to find her plot bound up
in iron fences, lavender growing

through the bars. Instead, we settle 
for the graves of strangers, try to laugh 

when we ask about love and draw
The Hermit, pull Six of Wands six feet 

above a Catholic priest. Pretend we know 
what any of it means. The city locks 

the graveyard gates at sunset, but I stay, 
and they don’t see me lying in my summer 

dress in the too-tall, sun-browned grass 
that slips like spirits through the stones. 

In the late June breeze, too warm for dark
in Massachusetts, I imagine the grass 

and the crunch of cars beyond the fence
are the voices of the buried. I hold

my breath, let small insects crawl 
across my naked thighs and shoulders, 

let them sample my flavor with delicate 
jaws. I practice being dead. Below me,

somewhere, someone’s mouth opens
to the lithosphere and fills with loam.

I pretend I hear him rattling 
in his shell, hear them all, rolling 

over and over as if in restless sleep,
people stuck in boxes stuck 

in people—cicada-humans trapped
in diminishing husks. I practice

being dead with them, rattle
my living fingers through the grass

and remember all the things we’ve fed
to the stones: mothers, babies, old men

who died in their sleep, and every
time we cry tragedy. I remember

reading of a storm in Ireland 
so wild it ripped an ancient tree out

by the roots. Tangled in them the bones
of a thousand-year-old body—of a boy 

younger than I have been for years—
tragedy even though by now 

he could have died of age six and six 
times over. I wonder what tragedies

the oaks of Amherst will uproot,
what forgotten things we’ll find time

to mourn again. I practice being dead
but I’m no good. The cars and grass

are only what they are. I will leave 
this place to the buried. I will pick

the lavender and take it with me. I will go
on loathing the world for what it keeps.

How can we fault the Earth for her hunger? 
Look at all she gives.

RAYE HENDRIX is a poet from Alabama. Raye earned her BA and MA in English from Auburn University and is an MFA candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. Raye was an honorable mention in both Southern Humanities Review’s Poetry Prize in 2014 and AWP’s 2015 Intro Journals Project. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cherry Tree, The Pinch, and Shenandoah, among others.