“Grace” by Jeff Burt

I freeze, startled by the sudden flight

of a mud swallow against the backdrop 

of a tilt-up building, swarm 

of chirping notes I cannot decipher,

a blur of two beating wings

once a bird among many birds

now a poverty of one.


As I approach, men and women 

from Guatemala and Oaxaca 

run from the daylight and hide 

behind bins and roll-away dumpsters. 

I shake my head. They should have no fear.

They return, point to the mud swallow 

building a home above our heads.


Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He has work in Clerestory, Amethyst Review, Mojave Heart Review, Rabid Oak, and The Monarch Review. He works in mental health.

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