88 total words    

<1 minutes of reading

Children, suppose you

were born as birds.

Inside your hearts as

capable as magnets

would hover memories

of all the birds who

came before you.

Birds who were guided

by certain stars, rivers, coastlines,

the winds of mountain passes

and fields that must be flown

over to return home,

before they ever left.

That is, if you were birds

and I was your mother

and you fledged

and I abandoned you to flight,

you would find your way back

despite never being taught,

though not necessarily to me.

  • Lisa Couturier

    Lisa Couturier is the author of The Hopes of Snakes (Beacon) and Animals / Bodies (Finishing Line). A 2012 Pushcart Prize winner in the essay category, she is a notable essayist in Best American Essays, 2004, 2006, 2011. Find more at 

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