Green Hills Literary Lantern



Caught in the slim cell between pane and screen,

a robin, desperate to go out


the way it came in,

flapped its wings with fury.


It had flown into the web of wire,

ensnaring itself as it broke through,


hit glass. Though I lifted

the sash, the red breast pushed


forward, refusing

to turn around, fly into the garage,


out the raised door.

We feared its wing would tear


from its shoulder, that its heart

would melt from the instinct burning


behind the bars of its ribs.

So we unhinged the panel from the jamb,


like removing a gate from a cage,

releasing the bird into the morning air,


then followed it, stretching

our bodies through the window


that seemed, in the mercy

of the moment, to go on opening


and opening.



Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2008, Julie L. Moore is the author of Slipping Out of Bloom, forthcoming from WordTech Editions, and Election Day (Finishing Line Press). Recent work appears in Alaska Quarterly Review, Atlanta Review, Blue Earth Review, Briar Cliff Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Cimarron Review, Dogwood, Free Lunch, Sou’Wester, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her website is