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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 21: 1 Jan. 2024
Haibun, anomalous: 183 words
By Margaret Koger

Winter Wings


The day I soared    the sky cloud-frowned    unfallen snow    and what was there?    Wings aloft    an air-born stream    a blossoming dress rehearsal    a choir of windblown angels.    I lifted my eyes to see

the lean heron    fold and unfold    its everlasting arms    slate without weight    pterodactyl    complement to firmament.    Or now, see?    Dozens and dozens of chickadee sprites    a flock dressed in cubist-conformity    bursting from treetops    zip!    zip!    O, do you hear?    the Celtic faerie’s dee-dee-dee.

Listen, please    as I recall the first freeze, the frost.    Our little dogwood    tipped with bouncy, bitter berries    until the nip of it    red rounds    sun-warmed    suddenly succulent.    Flickers cling    from branch to twig    their black bibs first in line    beaks primed    peck, peck. Then the squirrels.

On into December’s darkest clime    how birds survive    messengers of light    defying wind gusts    blow after blow    icy finger-spikes to feathered foreheads    and still    solstice flies by night    lightens the earth    while I come to you    moment by moment    arms lifted    days lengthening

and I believe so
for I have flown in splendor
one day and the next.

Margaret Koger
Issue 21 (1 January 2024)

is a Lascaux Poetry Prize finalist living near the Boise River. After attending Boise State University, she taught English and served briefly as a Poet in the Schools. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment, she was able to study the interplay of nature and the economy during the settlement of the American West, an experience that continues to inform her writing. She is the author of What These Hands Remember (Kelsay Books, 2022), and her poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals. If Seasons Were Kingdoms is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.

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