A familiar image: a bird circling in the sky. With a gentle metaphor, Krista Robey writes to describe survivors’ ongoing pain. A bird circling overhead may never descend, but it still feels ominous, and this image functions to describe how a survivor can feel anxiety in all parts of their life, even when not in “immediate” danger. The worry is still lived with. Connected vignettes and a simple, soothing, impactful style allow the reader to imagine their own experiences in tandem with the words on the page.

Hawks and Sparrows

by Krista Robey

            Circles. The hawk makes them around the big oak out my bedroom window. Sparrows squawk and cackle furiously before rising into the air like a spotted, spectral cloud. Taking turns they dive at their attacker in rapid succession like bullets waiting to leave their metal casket and meet their cadaver.

            Circles. He makes them around his truck. Stopping first by the driver’s door, then around and around the truck’s bed he slings his guitar, two bags stuffed with clothes. I would dive through the window. But I stand, toes woven into tangled carpet. I watch him circle his truck around the cul-de-sac and disappear beneath heavy oak branches down the gravel summered lane.  

            Circles. The mobile makes them above the baby’s crib. Suspended and swirling, the glittering winged-shapes do little to capture her attention as she squalls. I pull her into my arms, rubbing the palm of my hand in circles against her jammied back. She is as fragile as a bird. But I know more than the sparrows out my window. Our survival is not based on surviving the single attack, but managing to escape with our lives each time the sorrow circles back.



Krista Robey likes her bio the way she likes her fiction: short and elusive.