Grounding Method

by Jessica Purdy

Eagles are big enough without my dreams
making them into giants. In that space even
I note how strangely they blot out the sun.

Today the temperature rose fifty degrees
and the snow melts in one giant tragedy into
the earth. The way blackbirds fell

from the sky by the hundreds in Mexico
yesterday. Sometimes reality is more surreal
than anything I can dream. I’d love to live

on beauty and love. Safety and release.
A turkey vulture keeps coming around.
Its seesawing wings tip. High winds

toss the black outline. Something must
be dead in the neighborhood. And it hovers,
glides. In dreams, I’ll never outrun my fears.

I keep running to the window to look,
as if my eyes can be trusted to verify
what I’ve already identified as survival.

I am here. I just am. Name a stomach where I
can rest my hand. Name myself blameless.
Think of my favorite flavor. Smell my way home.

Jessica Purdy is the author of STARLAND and Sleep in a Strange House, both released by Nixes Mate in 2017 and 2018. Sleep in a Strange House was a finalist for the NH Literary Award for poetry. She is the author of the chapbook Learning the Names (Finishing Line Press 2015). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals including The Night Heron Barks, Radar, SoFloPoJo, Harpy Hybrid, Lily Poetry Review, One Art, Poemeleon, and Museum of Americana. She is poetry editor for the anthology, Ten Piscataqua Writers: Follow her on Twitter @JessicaPurdy123 and her website: