POETRY: Jessica Wiseman Lawrence – Birds




Water breaks for Terns and Petrels

diving to an unknown thing,

then up from water into air –

with no clumsy shaking or annoyance –

for them this is life and as easy as the atmosphere.


I saw a little grey sparrow land on a fence

when I arrived at a place I promised I’d be.

My car hummed,

and everything was humming,

and everything was noise.

We are just noise to everything.


Ahead, two crows pecked at grass, at seemingly nothing,

and feasted on worms and fleas

ignored. We toss simple things

away, we’ve thrown up


our hands to more food than could feed

countries full of children.

There is no flight enough to make us

comfortable with the animals we are.

There is nothing enough to make us the birds

we could be.


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