Blackbirds in Flight

by Jackie Smith Issue: Spring 2015
They sit perched on a phone wire
little Hitchcocks with
round black bellies.
Evenly spaced, as if the First Grade
teacher had told them, “Put one wing
between you and your neighbor.”

As a group they reach up to the sky,
invisible lines tethering them into a bird net
still perfectly spaced, but now in motion
pulsing like a wave on an oscilloscope.

Every time I see it
I stare and wonder—
wonder what worlds and lives there are—
worlds and lives and grace and beauty
and life and death
that I shall never be a part of.
That I shall ever only stand and behold.


Jackie Smith is a retired rural mail carrier. She and her husband have just returned from a two-year adventure living the dream on the Isle of Enchantment, Puerto Rico. They called ourselves “okies in paradise.” They enjoyed the beach, the sun, and the people with their lovely, warm ways. Ultimately, though, family ties won out and brought them home. Paradise cannot trump grandchildren.

Although she has written poetry for many years, retirement allows her the luxury of time to develop as a writer.

Her poems have been published in several small journals: Waterways, Westward Quarterly, Nuthouse, and CC&D, among others, and two in the latest issue of “The Chaffin Journal,” published by Eastern Kentucky University.