From Whence the Songbird Sings

She told me one dark evening, how
on her native world she stood
waist-deep in a ruby river while
lightning chirped across an orange sky.
I fought back tears that sprang
to life from the look on her
face as she longed for home.

But in the glare of next morning’s
light, I recall the cost of her
license from the import shop, and
calculate in my head the expense of
travel back to that world. Tamping
the night’s memory deep down and back
inside, I begin the day as always
by unlocking her gilded cage.





AlanIraGordonBioPhoto1Alan Ira Gordon is an urban planner and urban studies professor at Worcester State University and writer of science fiction/fantasy short stories and poetry. He’s a three-time Rhysling Award nominee and Dwarf Star Award nominee. He’s a frequent contributor to Star*Line and guest-edited Issue #24 of Eye to the Telescope, the online publication of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFWA). His poetry, short stories, and articles have been published in various genre magazines and anthologies, a partial list of which can be found on his webpage at