Megan Branning


The bird sits on the rainspout, plump and shining like a heart. Its eyes survey the ramble of weeds, and the empty fountain, choked with dead coins. The earth is as dry as the crow’s rasping call.

Thorns and vines, like burnt paper, crawl up and down the fence. Wind stirs the embers of drought. The only green lies in the base of the fountain, bled from pennies, trailing toward the drain.

Soon this will all crumble, like stone to years. Vanish, like water to the sun. Then only the bird will remain.

Beating, like a heart.


Megan Branning’s writing has been published by PodCastle, Luna Station Quarterly and others, and is forthcoming in The Devilfish Review. She is a children’s librarian living in Pittsburgh with her husband.

Editor’s Note: This prose poem plays on the previous one with the rain falling contrasted to the empty rainspout. The bird speaks the surviving loneliness. The image is that of the Chiming Fountain in Washington Park, Portland. It is drained in the winter for freeze protection. Hee, it’s overlaid with weathered coins. suggesting anything from drought to the irony of money in a desolate world.


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