At the End of the Day
The Children continue playing in the expanding yard,
Dusk does not inhibit them nor dark,
Just around the corner. Their flight calls echo
Back at the flooded pools, their reflections
Of stars just peeking out of the universe,
Fireflies bumping their lamps against one another.
It is so wet in June, a tern came, far, far from home;
The children knew nothing,
But continued their game, unaware of the lost bird,
Its efforts at reorienting,
And in a report I read, there was one dead ovenbird
Under the conifer, illuminated.
The children drifted in their play closer to the street,
Starting to shout, some of them fall down --
Two run to the neighbor's house,
Because the lights confuse them.
Heather Derr-Smith was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She earned her BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, where she also took creative writing workshops with Rita Dove, Charles Wright, and Greg Orr. She went on to earn her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book, Each End of the World, poems about the war in Bosnia in the 1990s and chronicles the lives of refugees, most of them women and children who experienced terrible trauma. Her second book is called The Bride Minaret and is about motherhood, identity, and displacement and includes stories from Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in Damascus. She has three children, ages 10, 7, and 5.
More from Heather Derr-Smith