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White Feathers - Roberta Beary

You want to scream as you feel his gold ring which matches yours pressing down which you notice as an afterthought and you don’t scream as his hands necklace your throat tenderly then tighter and you swallow all your sounds as he lets you go lets you breathe lets you gulp the air in the mirror your eyes beg don’t let the children hear you hope they’re asleep in the bedroom they soon will outgrow the girl almost seven clasping her teddy bear the boy still sucking his thumb at five and holding his yellow cloth bunny which tomorrow your husband will cut into 20 jagged pieces while your son screams ‘No Daddy No’ as you stand a silent witness you remember mute swans mate for life and now you are a broom sweeping pieces of yellow cloth into hidden pockets while your husband sleeps you will search the old basket find the yellow thread blanketing its wooden spool you will softly wind its secrets around your ringless finger see there’s the needle see there’s the thread see there’s a woman she is stitching a yellow bunny back into some kind of good enough life it will be the only thing you bring when you fly away lifting your children as you spread your white feathers without a sound.


Roberta Beary writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. Author of two award-winning poetry collections, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007), and Deflection (Accents Publishing, 2015), her micros have appeared in The New York Times, Rattle, 100 Word Story, Cultural Weekly, Best Small Fictions, andBest Microfiction. She lives in County Mayo, Ireland, where she edits haibun for Modern Haiku and tweets her micropoetry @shortpoemz


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