Joellen Craft


There were Gods who lived by starlight
before they thought of Sun
then Man
—you tell me the old myth again
as we walk the wet street: its mica stars
crossed by tar-patch slashes
I think at first are shadows cast by tree limbs
blocking the sky’s reflection

You say today you saw a chickadee’s
first flight and pretend your body
is the young bird’s:
hinged into air

Myth is a fight done
before it’s seen:
stars aligned
so the ancient slides around us

The young bird again leaves the opening
you bored in the wood box
after you learned how small a grown chickadee’s
body is

Your shadow hides then shows
the arbitrary
stories traced in tar
while in me
our tiny daughter builds
what she doesn’t know is a face


Joellen Craft lives in Durham, North Carolina, where she co-founded Durham’s Two Writers Walk into a Bar reading series. Her poems have recently appeared in Hunger Mountain, Fugue, The Nashville Review, Grist, and The Collagist, who nominated her poems for a Pushcart Prize.