Emma Bolden

Collect of the Widening Gyre

Here I found an echo rung
around the holler that death is.

I stepped inside and saw
a shepherd. A crooked

hook. A falcon severed
from the rope umbilicalling

it to earth. So too the saints
balloon, buoyed by breath

that is if not prayer
then intention to continue.

Living – listen –
is a prayer for action

without the reaction
of an end. All night

the falcon kept sweet
and singing even

as the meadow lost
the notes to its own song.

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Emma Bolden is the author of House Is An Enigma (SEMO Press), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press), Maleficae (GenPop Books), and four chapbooks. A 2017 NEA Fellow in Poetry, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Literature, The Best Small Fictions, and Poetry Daily. She is Associate Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Quarterly.