With a trowel, chipping bit by bit at the garden.

You find a pair of canaries—your mother’s—long buried,

fallen wild. Gone, every muscle, wing, and feather tying the body

together. In your hands, their skeletons like light

slumped over a windowsill, broken-necked.

According to scripture, all you need is faith the size of a claw

to command whatever has left you to return.

Be uprooted and planted here again

in this cage I’ve built for you, you should say. Open your arms

wide as if the hull of a long lost ark was coming to shore itself

against you. So often your mouth feels like the sky

in a dark, buttoned up gown. Remember, that female bird

wasn’t built to sing either, in accordance with science.

Take her fibula and tibia, made perfect from perching.

Take the radius and ulna from her clipped wings and replace his

with hers. It should feel like you’ve rebuilt man

from woman’s most essential parts. This must be how God felt

when he wrapped the rest of you around something as small

as a man’s rib and expected it to give you life.


Author Image

Anna Rose Welch is a classical violinist and editor from Erie, PA. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Crab Orchard Review, Linebreak, Water~Stone Review, Ruminate, Gingerbread House, and Rufous City Review. Her first full-length manuscript, Noah’s Woods, was recently a semi-finalist for the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.

Feature image via Flickr by Rafael M. Milani

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