Magazine article The Antioch Review

Of Royal Issue

Magazine article The Antioch Review

Of Royal Issue

Article excerpt

The sun only a small bird flitting, a wren in the stripped forsythia, of little note. A boy stands and watches it for a moment but then he loses interest and cuts across the dull winter grass to play a game with a stick and a rock and soft repeated shouts, and the bird is nothing again but a brown thing, within a fabric of brown branches, mind and heart, the cages of. Days and days from now, each a web of small branches, in the weeks of high wet winds that bring out low patches of wild onion along the swollen creek and call up countless red-bellied birds to dibble the grass with their blunt beaks, the bush's royal bloodline will briefly show, a tide of gold, a small inland sea, and the wren will speak for it, words of royal issue, tongue after tongue, worthy of note. But now the bush is mute. Our common blood slows but will not sleep, a kind of footpath the mind trudges over, back and forth, back and forth, packing the cold dirt down. …

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