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Birds on a Wire

Birds on a Wire

(first published in The Rag, issue 175, 2013, New Mexico)

lined up like black clothespins
they sit sentinel-like
while great storm clouds form in the West
and diagonal lines of black punctuate the horizon

but the crows seem uninterested
knowing what they must do 

how many times have they been on wires
lined up above city lights
while people scurry home before the storm
before the winds siren through

open cracks in windows
to howl wails of impending doom

the wire sways in the gale
but the crows hold fast until

one black figure opens its wings
to signal the others

black dots of disarray lift
take flight on a gust of wind

scatter then congeal
as if in magical formation

then triangulate toward the East
wind on their back easing their journey into calm


Joanne Bodin, Ph.D.,  author of “Birds on a Wire” is a retired teacher of the gifted.  She received her Doctorate in Multicultural Teacher Education from the University of New Mexico. Her novel, Walking Fish, won the New Mexico Book Awards and  the International Book Awards in gay/lesbian fiction. Her book of poems, Piggybacked, was a  finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and poetry anthologies including; La Llorona Anthology, Fixed and Free Poetry Anthologies 2011 and 2015, Glitterwolf, The Yes Book, Malpais Review Vol. 1 and 6, The Storyteller’s Anthology, Voices of New Mexico, The Poeming Pigeon, Watermelon Isotope, and Adobe Walls #5. She plays jazz piano and is a watercolor hobbyist.  Her new novel, a dark psychological thriller about the esoteric world of orchids will be published in 2017. Visit her website at