child weaning and the migration of birds
BY TRISTA EDWARDS
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.