Natural Order


by Marlo Starr

They pass the book around,
each voice must break

its own silence.

Father listens
to each prayer, watches

for any stumble
or sigh, tests each

by holding his
or her gaze

because a guiltless child
never looks away.

The birdcage is covered
to quiet bird chatter,

but listen to the scrape
of their nails, the opening

and closing of wings,
the rustle of things

still moving.


About the Author:

Marlo Starr is a writer and English PhD student living in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s TeahouseVector PressLumina Journal, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere.