Excerpt from "Heliotrope and Bloodstone"

           by Megan Bitner

We have many walks around this time of year.
You and I, we like
the darkness of nature
and the flight of small birds
at dusk.
Some walks, we go along
abandoned crop fields, sometimes
along rivers.
There are always the blackbirds.
We find it funny,
how they scream at us
and tangle themselves in my hair.
You call me the Blackbird girl.
We continue on
throughout these shrapnel torn,
forgotten groves
of wheat
and death.
Only the churches,
(their skeletons remaining)
stand still
to watch us,
and to watch
the blackbirds
pedaling their empty songs.