POETRY
Siren
Joey Gould
Writer of the Month

You are tracking a veery
you realize you have always been
after the singing near the excellent sea

excruciating reflection of the sun
on the water & you staring
at an oblique tree after a trill— 

The sea never mattered. Your friend
last night said the coast was the only
reason she could stand as she stood

under a tree smoking, & you looked
behind her at a grafted branch
braced & tied to a driftwood splint

as if it could heal
or maybe since it never will. 
You aren’t listening,

Listening never mattered, only
standing under a broken limb
as she talked about some other boy.

Somehow you all manage to be friends
though she used to get blitzed
& kiss you. Never sober. 

You love her. You love veeries. inchworms.
Why? The bird illuminating the tree
the bug folding & pressing until

if,
if wind conditions, if travel plans,
the weather cooperating just right.

Then the veery bolts over the sound,
unimpressive to look at, sure,
but tugging long after you lose sight.


Joey Gould is a poet, produce clerk, & educator living in a town called Hopedale. He is a longstanding contributor to Mass Poetry & Mass Leap efforts, writing for Masspoetry.org, leading workshops for Student Day of Poetry events, & helping to coordinate every Massachusetts Poetry Festival since 2011. You'll probably bump into him if you're headed to a Mass Audubon sanctuary.