Quail Crossing | Danielle Sherman

While walking to the park
at dusk I saw a quail crushed
               into the road, nothing
              more than tarred bones and the asphalt’s
               open red mouth.
White down dusted the pavement:
soft summer snow.
Then ahead,
one of two quails scuttled into the black
               river, froze
               on the dotted line,
               turned to look behind—
                             headlights rounding the corner—
                             an engine’s rising roar—
until its companion caught up
               and the two crossed
               side by side.

So I will stand in the road for you,
stare down the carcass of my kin
               knowing the flaws
               that felled it there
and wait anyways.
What roads have truly been crossed
if we did not cross them together?
               Look past the screaming headlights, my dear;
               look past the bloody feathers.

Danielle Sherman is from Phoenix, Arizona and studies creative writing as a sophomore at Emory University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crêpe & Penn Quarterly, The WEIGHT Journal, and Emory’s Alloy, among other publications. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Polyphony Lit and is currently a member of the Emory-based publication lullwater review.

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