The Oriole

Beyond lit panes, a flimsy fragile feathered thing
wavers on the highest bough, her scant weight teetering

above a paisley floor stippled with shadow and trembling
light. The bird trills as though her heart will fly

through gilded ribs of a gold chest, shatter
like a wave on a stony shore: wide open.

In here, the news stories flip by, tired cards thumbed
on an old Rolodex file. So quick, so awful I can hardly bear

view or listen. Now I’m watching the grizzled
trees in northern BC, scarecrow effigies ignited. Flames

scissor and smoke cuts a warning cloud in the tarnished
muslin sky. I imagine the elk frantic, the rabbits frenzied

and turn it off before the next reel can take hold. Through
the open window the ethereal lilting chords pour hymn

notes, rising to dusk’s flannel rafters. Don’t ask me why
I picture the listing Titanic: the brave orchestra playing, focused

and dogged. I see icy water breaching the deck, black
all-seeing portholes sobbing into a frozen sea. I watch it curling

back in a raging wave swollen with the last lost melodies. All that
remains is the waiting, the burst of flotsam on a distant dissolving shore.

Photograph by Sara Harley showing a building submerged in water and one bird flying overhead.

Rising by Sara Harley

Virginia Boudreau

About Virginia Boudreau

Virginia Boudreau is a retired teacher living on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. She can often be found at the beach. Her poetry and prose have appeared in a wide variety of international literary magazines and anthologies, both in print and online. Most recent work has been published in The New York Times (Solver’s Column), Woods Reader, Salt and Wild Anthology, Agnes and True, Grain, The New Quarterly, and Palette Poetry. She recently completed her first poetry manuscript, twenty years later than planned.

About Sara Harley

Sara Harley is a photographer living on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Sara creates photographic art to illustrate a range of emotions. Her images range from dark and brooding to light and inspirational, but always come from the heart. www.saraharley.com. Instagram: @saraharley.photos

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