Trapped Bird inside Hospital Corridor

A bird trapped in a house, they say, is good luck.
I think of telling you this when we find three
in the empty fireplace. But I say nothing.
In the hospital the children are all asleep, curtains drawn.
It’s as if the sun never came out today; too many clouds.
I wait it out. A child screams down the hall, no! no!
no. Just this morning those small words were in my mouth.

A bell rings down the hospital halls when a baby is born.
I wonder what sound I might make—
wings fluttering against a pane of glass.

*From Grist, 2016 Floating Bridge Chapbook Award winner.

Originally published in Glassworks.

Kate Peterson earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she is now teaching composition as an adjunct. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming from Sugar House Review, Packingtown Review, Aethlon, Glassworks, and The Sierra Nevada Review, among others. Kate is originally from New Jersey but has made Spokane her home.
This is her first published collection. She can be reached at


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