River's Edge Margaret Birth Poetry

local_library River’s Edge

by Margaret Birth

Published in Issue No. 268 ~ September, 2019

This, then, is when the thanks arrive,

a flood of peace and joy, overflowing its bounds,

seeping through steepled fingers

to bring life again to a once-parched heart.


No intonation need be sung or said,

but a silent praise wells up from within.


Eyes open, I observe the curve of a bluebird’s head

as it poses to prepare for territorial battle

from within a tangle of autumn-bare

branches in a tree in my backyard;

no kneeling, closed-lidded prayer stance here,

instead I worship the artistry in all I survey.


I feel as territorial as the bluebird looks:

this is my faith that I’ve fought

so hard to maintain through refining fires that threatened

to sear my soul to ash;

I want to claim the victory now,

as if it were mine and mine alone to claim (though I know it’s not),

and to revel in the torrents of gratitude that are pouring over me

because I have survived.

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Margaret Adams Birth is the author of Borderlands (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her poetry has also appeared in such journals as Riverrun, Ship of Fools, The New Voices (Trinidad and Tobago), Aldebaran, Atlantic Pacific Press, Purple Patch (England), White Wall Review (Canada), Mobius, Black River Review, Perceptions (her poem there a Pushcart Prize nominee), Blue Lake Review, All Roads Will Lead You Home, and The Wild Goose Poetry Review. She is extensively published in short fiction and nonfiction, as well, including under the pen names Maggie Adams and Rhett Shepard. You can find her Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/MaggieAdamsRhettShepard/.