Back to Issue Seventeen.

child weaning and the migration of birds



We believe that blood is thicker than milk,
that our mothers know when to send us thirsty

out into the restless, changeable world.
Infants, some say, weaned in late autumn

experience the seasonal waning of daylight,
departing their mothers’ breasts into a period

of acute loss. By autumn, all the magpies flee.
They surge across the sky, blur of little wings.

Because lakes glisten and ripple below,
the flock looks down and sees itself. They can’t help

their own beauty, which is only an idea of beauty.
They fly toward it, all dumb-luck and thirsty

for the shiny reflection. It is almost child-like
how they recognize their own face,

caught off-guard then inexplicably greedy
for more of themselves. If only all of us

when we were once young and suckling,
our first tooth budding through, bit and broke

our mother’s skin to taste the warmth of where
we came from. If only we could recognize

this moment as our daylight fading, our own
bitter reflection disguised as migration

in which we journey no where but into a shiny lake,
diving into ourselves until we drown.


Trista Edwards is an Ohio born, Georgia Peach living it up in Texas. Trista is currently a Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas. Her work has been published The JournalMid-American Review32 PoemsBirmingham Poetry ReviewThe Rumpus, Sou’westerMidwestern Gothic, and more. She is the editor of Till the Tide: An Anthology of Mermaid Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2015) and a contributing writer at Luna Luna Magazine. Trista writers about poetry, travel, and things that haunt at her blog, Marvel + Moon (

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