In My Third Happiest Life

I couldn’t sing, only call a hollow

hoot to the moon hanging in a lake.

I was a cuckoo bird, a murderer

and fugitive—abandoning

my babies in the nests of other birds.

I kicked many eggs

to the ground to make room 

for my own. Then with the lightest

of hearts, I took flight and forgot 

them all—lover, child,

the dead and splintered, the ones 

that I wronged. Nature made me free

to live in a shadowy world

between tree and sky, singing

my ghost coo in the yards of men.

Lillian Kwok currently lives in Sweden where she studies at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. She is an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Scapegoat Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Silk Road, and other journals. 

Images by Elfie Hintington courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

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