Spring 2020, Volume 28

Poetry by Gary Leising


The male’s tail explodes,
feathers spike, pins in a ball-shaped

the soft body on a hillside,
a spring-time black shout
against the brown

and, little dinosaurs themselves,
his bevy of would-be mates
run, their gray vulture-heads

and plain-jane tails
dart-length lines parallel
to the ground.

These birds, spotted
on my morning run
stand nothing like the ones

made by my sons’ traced hands.
They lack the bright attack
of crayon-fire hues—

burnt sienna, sunset red,
flamingo flame—
and they announce as much

their noises rising in pitch
and they flap across the road
surrounding me.

Don’t draw us, they say.
Go back to your home.
Stay indoors.




BIO: Gary Leising is the author of two poetry chapbooks of poems, Fastened to a Dying Animal (Pudding House) and Temple of Bones (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in many literary journals, including recent and forthcoming poems in Cincinnati Review, Gargoyle, Prairie Schooner, and River Styx. He lives in upstate New York, with his wife and two sons, where he teaches creative writing and poetry at Utica College.