David McAleavey

Interrupted transmissions

Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
The Sonnet Issue

Interrupted transmissions

Fields gone where we hid in grass, scaring meadowlarks we’d heard singing;
kind of chastening, too, when a killdeer shows a broken wing – she
yields to her inability to defend, pretends and distracts;
wind disperses nest scent while she leads the predator away. We
shoot fewer coyotes each year, kill fewer grasshoppers with our cars.
Birth rate matters more than birthright, environmentally speaking.
Rooted though we want to be, we’re wanderers, opportunists, our
earth a jigsaw puzzle we haven’t quite solved, too many pieces,
seeds bursting left and right, memories waving their wings, broken wings.
More and more, pieces seem missing, the old houses’ gardens have more
weeds, I dream houses more dilapidated than those I’ve lived in;
before long, I may start having dreams with silent gaps, my mind may
begin blocking its inner transmissions, like satellite signals
disagreeing with each other, above the prairies of childhood.


Reprinted from Stand, Issue 12:1, 2013, with permission of the author.


David McAleavey's fifth and most recent book is Huge Haiku (Chax Press, 2005). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest and Denver Quarterly. He teaches literature and creative writing at George Washington University in Washington, DC. To read more by this author, see the Spring 2001 Issue, and the Whitman Issue.