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Cathy Mellett


Accidental Birds

Two hummingbirds
spring from the holly bush
outside my window.
First, one. The other follows
as if to make sure I've seen
what I've seen.
Why are they still here
in the thick of winter.
And how did I go from peeling apples
to putting this pie in the oven,
remembering so much of my life
but none of the steps between.


Children Chasing Fireflies at Dusk

We mean no harm.
What we want is simple.
You can have the pretty black line
like a racing stripe.
Or those things that look like ears.
Or the tiny feet
like an army of commas
in the palm of your hand.
We want what everyone else wants
and we're not afraid to chase it.
We want that thing they carry:
We want the light. We want the light.
We want the light.


Cathy Mellett's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Yankee, The Ledge, Calliope, Poetry Motel, and Entre Nous. Her chapbook—from which these poems come—is titled Saturday Afternoon in My Kitchen, and received Poetry New York's first chapbook publication award. Her fiction has appeared in The Yale Review, Baltimore Review, Antietam Review, and others. She has received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in fiction and residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Mary Anderson Center.
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