by Leslie Cairns
You loved the red bellies/Folded sheets and secretary school, married young/Taught you how to fold the napkins into birds/To keep the feeders full, to bake cookies just so/Dementia takes your love of birds/Red bellies, birdsong, twigs./I hold it now, nesting in my belly/Invisible membranes thrusting my love of your memories
Onto me. A robin perches on my finger, birdsong, twig/I wish I could wrap her in wax paper, wrapped in twine/Bleating tiny heartbeats/Into your room, past the nurse and the IVS/Reminding you how/This certain bird/Sings in spring/I’d wait for her to birth in creamy, perfect blue/Matching your irises/And we could cry
Leslie Cairns is a student of poetry and writing from SUNY Fredonia, as well as CU Denver. She holds an MA in English. Her Twitter is starbucksgirly/GilmoreGquotes. She has upcoming poetry and short stories in various journals, including Loft Limited Books, Pink Plastic House, Broken Poetry Magazine, Diphthong Mag, CoffeeZinemag, and others. She is an honorable mention in the upcoming reveal of Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction Competition (2022).