Sarah Gardner / How to Study Birds
How to Study Birds gracefully and evocatively lingers in the spaces between consciousness and the natural world, swinging between what we know and don’t know about systems, the body, and the interior life of what surrounds us.
A native Midwesterner, Sarah J. Gardner’s wanderlust has since taken her to Scotland, New York, Minnesota, and now Texas. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The North American Review, The Cortland Review, Runes Review of Poetry, Calyx, Cranky Literary Journal, and Heliotrope. She was recently honored to receive an International Merit Award from The Atlanta Review. Sarah teaches creative writing to disadvantaged youth through Houston's Writers in the Schools. Visit her website: www.sarahjgardner.net.
from How to Study Birds
Clear Broth, Sliced Mushroom, Tender Spinach
the leaves velvety and languid—lunch today,
a simple soup: I kiss spring in every spoonful, like a sister.
You are welcome here, I tell her, any time.
At another table, a man who would like to say something,
won’t. The waiter brings red tulips with the tab, and their
eaves-dropping lean over the vase reminds me—
do not on a day such as this go to take your torpid fears
from the attic, camphor-smelling. Leave them
as they lie, folded arm over arm, their season passed:
see how the sky ciphers, day to night, new gratuities of blue?