A Milk Jug Birdhouse, poem by Helen Losse

A Milk Jug Bird­house

My mind rejects
what my eyes can see. A girl—
using a phone book for a boost­er seat—
sits at a table in the yard, beside

an aban­doned clothes dry­er. She’s
carv­ing a bird­house from an emp­ty milk car­ton.
A suit of armor and a plas­tic pineap­ple
are under a lon­gleaf pine, where drops of rosin

glue sword to fruit. The fields near­by lie fal­low,
and in the dis­tance, as far as I can see. There’s
a sta­tion that used to sell gas, where two roads
make a T. The road that ter­mi­nates is

full of pot­holes. Some­one paint­ed one pot­hole
the same blue as the uncloud­ed sky here.
And on the roof of a rust-red barn—
just past the fall­en pile of bro­ken yel­low bricks,

the world’s largest CB anten­na, (home­made),
and next to the smashed brown dog-igloo—
Jesus Saves / S & H Green Stamps
is fad­ed but leg­i­ble.

first pub­lished in Ada­gio Verse Quar­ter­ly


Helen Losse is the author of Bet­ter With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) and two chap­books, Gath­er­ing the Bro­ken Pieces and Paper Snowflakes and the Poet­ry Edi­tor of The Dead Mule School of South­ern Lit­er­a­ture. Her recent poet­ry pub­li­ca­tions and accep­tances include Iodine Poet­ry Review, Main Street Rag, Heavy Bear, Hob­ble Creek Review, The Wild Goose Review, and Blue Fifth Review.  Edu­cat­ed at Mis­souri South­ern State and Wake For­est Uni­ver­si­ties, she lives in Win­ston-Salem, NC.

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2 Responses to A Milk Jug Birdhouse, poem by Helen Losse

  1. Helen,
    The milk jug bird­house remind­ed me of home. I lived where almost every house­hold had a Pur­ple Mar­tin Gourd Colony Post sta­tion. Have to help con­trol the "skeeter" pop­u­la­tion… We had the anan­doned wringer wash­er in the back yard too.

  2. helenl says:

    Thank you, Rusty.

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