Grandma Describes Love Using Birds

By Valerie L. Egar

As published in: Lullwater Review

Love is a goose, says Grandma,

tossing Danny’s bread crusts

to geese at the lake’s edge.

We hover behind her,

afraid of beating wings.

They mate for life, unlike some people.

Danny and I knew the people she meant.

We woke to their yelling

about rent, the refrigerator’s lack:

one egg, sour milk, half-jar

of pickles. The front door slammed.

Mother drove us to school

every day after.

Grandma says, Love’ll make you crazy.

Drying dishes, Danny and I watched

the red bird fight its window reflection,

seeing Mother’s fury in its flaming feathers,

as she shadow-boxed, cursing Father’s name.