THE TREMBLING BIRD BECOMES MY MOTHER
Valerie Bacharach

It flew, this dulled sparrow, slammed
into the wide window in my living room.
Its wings try to lift, flutter,
the way my mother's hands jerked,
twitched two days before she died,
as if jolted by electricity from the afterworld.
Her small, boned hands flew
then fell against the narrow hospital bed,
where her pale skin merged
with the pale skin of sheets.

The sparrow is still, then tries again to move.
Its head lifts a bit, blind
to my eyes watching. Its wings flutter
again and again, small heart still beating,
and my mother's hands wouldn't rest
as her heart slammed into the narrow wall
of her chest, fast, then slow, then fast.
Her hands frantic for purchase.






Valerie Bacharach's writing has appeared in publications including Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly, US 1 Worksheets, The Tishman Review, Topology Magazine, Poetica, The Ekphrastic Review, and Talking/Writing. She is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at Carlow University and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic workshops. Her first chapbook, Fireweed, was published in August 2018 by Main Street Rag.





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