Three Poems by Kevin McLellan

Kevin McLellan

Kevin McLellan

Kevin McLellan is the author of: Tributary (Barrow Street); the chapbook Round Trip (Seven Kitchens), a collaborative series with numerous women poets; and the book arts project [box] (Letter [r] Press). The chapbook Shoes on a wire (Split Oak Press) is forthcoming. McLellan won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize, and his poems have appeared in journals including: American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, Superstition Review, West Branch, Western Humanities Review, Witness, and several others. Kevin lives in Cambridge MA.


Here the birds are more
skittish. My dreams uneasy 
in the presence of vehicular
exclamations. This shiny city
teaches anonymity. I need
to unlearn how to excavate. 
No, dig. Out of the dark
I wake-up each day already
old. I no longer see the White
Mountains that oversee everything
early and late. (Suns. Echoes. 
All kinds of trespass.) The peaks
may not remember me
as a bird in a field in a valley.





At the bus stop
I watched a paramedic
pour bleach
onto the sidewalk:
the others take away
a bloodied man
and they called him
by his first name:
later at the pet store
a young clerk and
the fine linear scars
on her forearms:
she said, sick birds
tend to not act sick
because it makes them
appear vulnerable





Thank you for sending the sparrow
                   to remind me of space
and to encourage light.
                               I miss your singing
voices and consequently mornings. 
is now too much about myself. The cage
sits there.         Insists that I’m an animal. 
That I need to travel.