Jane Craven

Cockatiel & View From Another Planet
November 22, 2021 Craven Jane



Wild for it to end
in a public park’s gravel lot         the white crest
fanning out on its own          eyes alive with ants


it was not there
when we unfolded canvas chairs           placed them upright
in the shade          invisible insects stinging our ankles


as we laughed          unpacked our takeout containers
arranged them on a block-printed Indian bedspread


a reminder of college when everyone was more or less
a hippie                       the flickery joy of those days


down the hill a teenage party          girls in full sun in neon
halter dresses          mylar balloons tied to waists


I am sorry          I saw the pale yellow body
on our way back to the car          so incongruous


it set loose my own unbelonging
and I felt the ground shift


had I passed by earlier I could have saved it
the day could have been different


View From Another Planet
Of course a night such as this must have two moons
alabaster-pale as hollowed steer horns, the snow line
vanishing around the perimeter of the heated city, skyline
vaulting like Oz from open fields. In my head I walk
its streets, brick facades still warm from sunset.
I do not try to look as though I know
where I am going. I am not brisk. I am not catcalled
from the shadows. My insides relax like a hammock.
I go where I want to go.

Jane Craven was born and raised in North Carolina. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from North Carolina State University. Her collection, My Bright Last Country, won the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize and was published by Cloudbank Books in 2020.