With Each Bird Flying, Time Is Passing

Elizabeth Metzger

Candled horses run across the dining table

I cannot take a bite before them

I cannot ride their passion

One child pulls herself onto my knee

The other is wrapping my arms to my sides with a scarf

If I can’t be a bird neither can you

he laughs, and the first child cries

For each life there is another you can’t have

It could have been better

I could have been generous

When the horses are gone and everyone’s fed

the unflown life comes


I fall madly in love with mine

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of Lying In and The Spirit Papers, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Originally published:
June 12, 2023


10 Ways Ms., Sassy, and Jezebel Changed Your Life!

How contradiction drove fifty years of feminist media
Maggie Doherty

How Emily Wilson Reimagined Homer

Her boldly innovative translation of the Iliad is an epic for our time
Emily Greenwood

In the Shallows

Why do public intellectuals condescend to their readers?
Becca Rothfeld

You Might Also Like


Sasha Debevec-McKenney


New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.