Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 16 • Winter 2005 • Poetry


Charles Jensen

The babies track the mother like a series of ellipses as though her body were trailing off into thought or silence. Little pears on legs. Let's say a hunter shoots a newborn quail: the mother will not attack. That night, some little boy dines on small game and the bird that nobody cared about goes on with her life. In the dark, her beak tweezes feathers from her body one by one. The hunter mauls his wife with his big, greasy hands but she can't fend him off: by midnight she's balled up in her son's tiny bedroom. He sleeps so easy. His chest flutters with his breath. She fumbles with his pillow -- her biggest fear is that he'll never be taken away. The quail in her nest starts, wakes from a bad, bad dream.

Charles Jensen is the author of the chapbook "Little Burning Edens." His poems have appeared in Bloom, The Journal, New England Review, Quarterly West, and West Branch; he was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. With Sarah Vap, he has published interviews with Beth Ann Fennelly, Lynn Emanuel, and C. D. Wright. He works for the Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University and at Rio Salado College, where he teaches film studies.

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