“Missed Call”
by Annick MacAskill 


The house sparrow carries sunlight in her beak.
Consider the mystery—the slight frame

burgeoning with hymns against the backdrop
of still melting snow, blue and white pooling

in the long given-out grass. Under cedars I walk
and whisper, attempt forgetting, but her notes are pressed

upon my mind. Her flush moves over me,
probes my body—I don’t expand like she does,

but I no longer split from wanting.
Her call rushes my insides, sears my chest—

tests my resilience. I try her song, but my throat fails,
feeble. And would she hear me anyway?

I imagine my arms in another version of winter,
deep in snowdrifts, limbs and torso smudged

in effort and evening, where I would catch
everything—but I’m still here, rasping.

[*…but her notes envelop / my mind’s soft ear. Her flush…]

[*…but her notes still surface / in my mind. Her flush…]

[*…but her notes are stamped / upon my mind. Her flush…]

[*…but her notes / sink into my mind. Her flush…]

[*…but her notes become infixed / in my mind. Her flush…]

—From CNQ 102 (Summer 2018)

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