A Visiting Congregation

Invasive bird, invasive branch. Heavy
is the tree with city kids, their eyes bright
as our yard’s starlings. The flockful kind. Youth
groups bussed to the corner-store church line up
this Sunday morning. You step through them all.
Bubbles jump up your bourbon bottle’s neck
like a level gone awry. A slant step,
wobbly in ankle-twisting boots, pregnant
until tomorrow. In the practiced shade
of the Tree of Heaven you lean against,
a forty-foot weed grown too deep to kill,
I pull at your arm to keep us moving.
Invited bird on invited branch. Red
light caught in the black of your undone braid.

C. C. Reid

C.C. Reid is the recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and winner of both the Larry Neal Writers’ Award and the Mary C. Mohr Award. Her work has appeared in/is forthcoming from Poet LoreMid-American ReviewSpoon River Poetry ReviewFive Points, Southern Indiana Review, Nimrod, and New Haven Review. She lives with her partner and children in Washington, DC.

Gerd Altmann

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay