The inquisitive grackles in our trees
(may trees belong to anyone?)
have become my translators.

I no longer remember what it is
to be a part of the wider world,
wan in my nightlong spiraling,

lips chapped with worries and
rhymes that have never belonged
to me. You can’t live backward,

but what if the way forward is
blocked? The poplars have started
gathering their gilded tassels

on their long, bare branches,
bending earthward with the weight
of pollen and birdsong more like

cackling. I am very alive and very
human, no incandescence to me,
all chub rubbing skin against skin,

rouging up the white expanses
I can already feel dissolving
under the weight of the gravestone.

The grackles don’t know this.
The grackles only open their plain
black beaks to laugh and laugh and laugh.

Devon Bohm received her BA from Smith College and earned her MFA with a dual concentration in Poetry and Fiction from Fairfield University. After serving as Mason Road’s Editor-in-Chief, she worked as an adjunct professor of English. She was awarded the 2011 Hatfield Prize for Best Short Story, received an honorable mention in the 2020 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and was longlisted for Wigleaf’s Top 50 Very Short Fictions 2021. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Labrys, the graveyard zine, horse egg literary, Necessary Fiction, Spry, and Sixfold, with more poetry forthcoming in Sunday Mornings at the River’s Covid anthology and Hole In The Head Review. Her first book of poetry is due out in November 2021 from Cornerstone Press. Follow her on Instagram (@devonpoem) or visit her website at

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2 Responses to Grackling

  1. Marjorie Hanft says:

    Gorgeous music here and who does not love the crazy grackles?

  2. Bill Tope says:

    I thought Devon’s poem was inspired verse, rich with poignant metamphors and flowing effortlessly from line to line. Nicely done.

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