On Becoming Birds
by Elaine Mintzer

See how thin
      our old bones are,

long batons of ulnae,

tibias sharp
      and delicate.

See how the wings
      of our hips

turn to lace,

to release us from the gravity
      of floor and earth.

See how the loved ones
      anchor us in beds with rails,

tie us with threads
      of air and seawater.

Stay, they say,

even as we prepare
      to touch the clouds,

to break free.

IMAGE: “A Black Bird With Snow-Covered Red Hills” by Georgia O’Keeffe (1946).

PHOTO: The author in the backyard, 1954.

Version 2 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Mintzer has a BA from UCLA in Creative Writing and an MS in Education from USC. She has written poetry for Ballet Randolph in Miami Beach, has been published in print journals and online, and was anthologized in 13 Los Angeles Poets. Elaine’s first collection, Natural Selections, was published by Bombshelter Press in 2005.