By: Therese Gleason

One week after
the clock in your chest
clenched and froze forever
at half past fifty,
a crow careened through the door,
grazing my temple
like a stray bullet.
In the aftermath
of shock and startle,
irony registered
bitter in my craw.
I used to think a bird
crossing the threshold
was a harbinger of death,
but by the time
this transgressor
cut a crooked line
through the living room,
our windows
were already draped
in black crepe.
The old wives,
their feathered omen
arrived late, clucked
their tongues
and rent their garments.

Therese Gleason is author of two chapbooks: Libation and Matrilineal. Her poetry and prose appear/are forthcoming in 32 PoemsIndiana ReviewRattle, Painted Bride Quarterly, AmericaValparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Louisville, KY, she lives in Worcester, MA with her spouse and three children. A literacy teacher, Therese reads for The Worcester Review and has an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. Find her at

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