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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 16: 1 Jan. 2023
Prose Poem: 303 words
By Dana Kinsey

Fly Girls


Who records stories about scrappy little girls who’ll become famous later on? Scribbles feather-pen anecdotes while eating brown bag lunch in autumn light with hungry pigeons. Who rescues notebooks with tales of dream-wild peacock girls who fancied themselves on big screens or red carpets or election ballots? Wings unfurling like sacred scrolls.

Did you know Lucille Ball hated birds since she was four? How gray sparrows pecked at the window when she learned her father died. Did you know she gave away dresses her mother created for her if girls asked for them or that it hurt her mother who barely had money to make them? Later, Lucille imported silk Japanese wallpaper only to have it torn off the walls of her Beverly Hills home because when she looked closer, birds were embossed in the branches.

Funny how I’m sure my mother is a cardinal now. Did you know she flies from treetop to heaven to treetop to heaven to treetop to tree outside my white shutters when I write? She wanted to work in politics. Change the world a little. Did you know she delivered speeches on policy in our car when she drove me to dances or libraries or theaters? You know, I think she fashioned herself a birdcage. Afraid to be free. Soar to perches she longed to land.

Now, when I call to her, she flits away like a frightened make-believe story shuddering behind the truth. Did you know I still long for her to answer me? For her bill drumming and constant trilling. For words she stashed under broken wings. For lines I left behind in old notes. For her faded-ink desires that die a little more as I tear out page after page after page.

After the notebook’s empty, what then?

Dana Kinsey
Issue 16 (1 January 2023)

is an actor and teacher whose poetry and prose are published in Fledgling Rag, Drunk Monkeys, ONE ART, On the Seawall, Porcupine Literary, Sledgehammer Lit, West Trestle Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Syncopation Literary Journal, The Pine Cone Review, Better Than Starbucks, Red Ogre Review, Ariel Chart, and Prose Online. Dana’s play, WaterRise, was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Her chapbook, Mixtape Venus, was released in April 2022 by I. Giraffe Press.

Author’s website: https://www.wordsbydk.com/

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