123 Psaltery & Lyre: “Agricola Dreams of Flying” by J. Rose Lara

gold wing


Agricola Dreams of Flying

A pair of fat fledgeling songbirds and their narrow golden parents are clutched together along a low roof’s rim in a clearing. A grey bird, predator-sized but the character is all wrong—pigeon, or gull—carries the twins away, one in each taloned fist. You are not made for this bloody work.

Drops one either in the clumsiness of greed or as an afterthought and flies away with the other. The escaped runs toward home, and as it runs it turns into a golden boy, then a golden man, then the parents transform, too. The three of them embrace together in grief for the one carried off. 

“Isn’t it beautiful?” I said to you from near the tree. “They are people under the feathers, like we are.”


J. Rose Lara is an environmental journalist and an MFA candidate and instructor in the first year writing program at Western Washington University.