A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

Two Poems by Jason Olsen

Hummingbird

In Finland, the aurora borealis

is caused by foxes who brush their backs

against mountains,

tails of flame

painting the night with sparks.

But that's Finland.

Where I live,

hummingbirds are made of fire,

and there was one hummingbird

who lost its way, and in the desperation

of the moment, about to die of starvation

for the tenth time that day,

found pity from a sky that opened its arms

and said, I cannot find you,

but I can light your way home.

Behooved

My grandfather told me

it would behoove me

to let him know

what had happened.

 

My instinct was to hide,

create a cover story,

lie behind a lie.

 

There had to be other possibilities,

explanations. Except there weren't,

 

not really.

 

He looked at me

in a way only he could,

 

a way that said

behooving wasn't a choice.

 

So I behooved.

And then he held me

 

as a father holds a son

who is looking for foregiveness.

Jason Olsen

Jason Olsen is an Associate Professor of English at Utah State University Eastern. He is originally from Los Angeles and Las Vegas and now lives in Price, Utah with his wife and two children. His book of poems, Parakeet, was published by BatCat Press in 2017 and his academic study of 1980s and 1990s Captain America comics (Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America) was released in 2021 by McFarland. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Mid-American Review, and Pleaides, among other places.

 

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