Sometimes a chicken bone is an olive branch
is a bundle of twigs refusing the kindling
is the snowbird calling and the streak of a cat
is the sigh of flight—just in time
is filtered light as the trees loosen their shapes
is a fleck of sea on a dampened breeze
from a faraway dream
not yours and the whisper at the window is
not the tread of booted feet is not
the lift of the door latch is
not the flare of a match is not
the swell of heat as the oven
yawns wide to take the fledgling, which is to say: what has always been its due.
The Coat of Pockets
It is always winter in the woods
so the girl wears her woolen coat, though
its sleeves are two seasons too short.
Her hands she keeps in her pockets, for they’ve always been
empty, and here she believes they
always will be. She doesn’t see that
with each step, a pocket
appears, then deepens on the back of
her winter coat, into which are slipped
the forest’s gifts: acorns
heavy with tree-might, felt-soft leaves and those
crackled-crisp, and spider-sacs of
insect hope from summer spent—
all stowed within the girl’s deepening pocket.
And now dormouse and bat, stoat and hare
nestle in. The weight of these gifts marks her path—
deep and through to the
forest heart where one ought never go with
Patricia J. Miranda writes fabulist and fantasy fiction for adults and children. She was the 2016 finalist for the Fairy Tale Review prose contest and the 2017 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Middle Grade Fiction. Her poetry has been featured in apt, Frontier Poetry, Heron Tree, Hyphen, Into the Void, Kitaab, and other literary journals. She just emerged from a three-year revision of a middle-grade novel about a girl and a goblin who join forces to repair their Splintered world, and she now has hope the same healing process can begin in the real world.
Anonymous is a fiction writer, visual artist, and musician. She tends to involve nature and magic in her work and sometimes struggles to find the difference between them.