Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Forked Tale

Forked Tale

By Bethany Schroeder

For Phyllis Janowitz

The swallow forces
her nest fast as a root
on Aunt Faye's kitchen window ledge.

Straw sticks through
the frame she won't clean
up after. Let the tiny fibers flag

from their stems, let
traces of her husband's fields
dust faucets and porcelain, let her

sewing wait. Aunt Faye's
learning joy, the swallow's clinical
grace, as she leans into the cross and promise

of her sink remembering
how her mother's lips unpinched
when the first swallow flew summer in.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Winter 1986), pp. 91-92


Bethany Schroeder was a nurse and teacher. She held an MFA from Cornell, where she worked on the Epoch editorial staff. Her poems appear in multiple journals, including Poetry.

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