local_library Hummingbird

by Hayley Bowen

Published in Issue No. 278 ~ July, 2020

Most days I try to forget you ever existed, 

but I comfort myself by reciting, 

it’s because you were never meant to.

You were the worst kind of miracle, 

a fraction of a fraction of an odd, sad anomaly.

It’s not your fault. You were never viable


One year ago, you were the size of a hummingbird’s egg

—hidden away in the dark, almost undetectable—

but your hatching was interrupted, and you were lost.

Looking back, I think I knew somewhere deep down 

that you had made a nest of me, but it was easier 

to believe you were something more mundane.


Somedays I feel caged by the weight of not being able to save you, 

as if my wings were clipped in punishment 

because you never had the chance to see the sky. 

Somedays I feel the wingbeats of hummingbirds

battering my heart until it buckles.

Some days are nothing but an unbearably empty perch. 

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Hayley Bowen is a native to the Sonoran Desert in Southern California, but has lived in Denver and most recently Spearfish, South Dakota. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from Black Hills State University, Hayley has returned to the desert to focus on her writing during her gap semester before she begins her MFA program in the Fall of 2020.