Multiple Choice

Susan Laughter Meyers

Your chickadee has nested in the wrong house,
exposed and unprotected:

    1. You write to it, praising the green
      irony of an open door,
      the breeze that airs the bed.
      Which light, which shadow? you ask.
    2. You listen to what could be song
      but sounds more like the scoldings
      of a tap-dancing mind.
    3. You breathe in the feathered smell
      of defeat, wondering why you didn’t hammer
      the yes-yes-yes closed.
    4. At dusk you speak the low syllables of elegy,
      when you can no longer sing.
      You have lost all sight of the tree,
      of whatever trembled its branches.


Susan Laughter Meyers, of Givhans, SC, is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press), winner of the inaugural SC Poetry Book Prize, the SIBA Book Award for Poetry, and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her poetry has also appeared in The Southern Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and other journals, as well as Poetry Daily, and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry column. Her blog is at