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Weekly Poem: ‘The Field Has a Girl’

By Laurel Snyder

The sky has a blackbird.
The field has a girl.
The sky is to the field as
the field is to the sky, only

backwards. White is
to the blackbird as fear
is to the girl, despite
she’s small and alone.

The bird has a wing
in the wind, a face in
the sky and a shadow
on the girl.

There’s a boy in
the field, too, and
the girl says she’d
like to hold the blackbird.

But, “Free isn’t the same as
clean” says the boy, “or safe,
and anyway, the blackbird
won’t want to be held.”

The bird beats its wings.
The girl waits.
The sky creaks.
The girl says “I live in

this world,” and means
it, but still she is small
in the field and beneath
the sky and the path of

the blackbird. “I live
in this” says the girl,
“alone,” says the girl.
Things become quieter.

Things become.
“No matter what you
may do with your life,”
says the girl.


Laurel Snyder is the author of two books of poems, “Daphne & Jim: a choose-your-own-adventure biography in verse” (Burnside Review Press, 2005) and “The Myth of the Simple Machines” (No Tell Books, 2007); three novels for children, “Penny Dreadful,” “Any Which Wall” and “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess” (Random House); and two picture books, “Inside the Slidy Diner” and “Baxter the Kosher Pig.”

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