The Wedding Flock by Justin Hilliard


The flock of birds plummeted, one by one to the ground
Below. Dead, and for no apparent reason they gave up mid-
Air. We saw them fall like beat kamikazes on our way back from
Church. It burned down years ago but we still went to the foyer and
Smoked. A slow poison of a new sort, I guess it attracted those looking for an

Or a way out or maybe just a quick exit from themselves. We looked at the mangled
Bodies. White doves for all I knew, a wedding flock loose from some centuries
Passed marriage ceremony at the church. A man and wife honeymoon bound forgot the birds
But we freed them from their cage, a symbol of good luck to those newly
Wed love birds lost somewhere between the four corners of this

She hung chimes outside her bedroom window that jangled when the wind
Blew. He’d gently flick them in the night once her parents were fast
Asleep. He attended St. Paul’s every Sunday, but she wasn’t
Religious. She’d laugh when he prayed over her but she let him do
It. Maybe his delinquent prayers would find their way and ‘bring us good luck, just

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Justin Hilliard reads and writes along the beaches of his native sunshine state, where he also edits the literary journal, The Chaotic Review.

Photo credit: Terri Malone

Audio: Susan C. Ingram


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