If Only I Moved by Instinct

By D.R. James

PROMPT — If only ...

Life has been a grand migration to where you are today! —well known wisdom I didn’t know! Otherwise, when those raggedy squadrons clamored overhead last evening— three V’s disarrayed like frayed arrow feathers, their leaders insistent as clowns with braying horns, honking for plane geometry— I would have taxied, sprinted, lifted arthriticly from water’s edge (granted more dodo than goose, my splayed toes just scuffing the webbed crests of waves), and elbowed my way into a rhythmic wedge to claim my slot in that mindless rotation toward the life-saving draft.

D. R. James' latest collection is Flip Requiem (Dos Madres, 2020) and his micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. Now in his umpteenth year of teaching at a small college, he lives and expressively writes in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan.


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