Extraterrestrial, My Baby Bird

Danielle Stricklin Poetry

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You were not so much birthed

as you were hatched

out of my belly

(that rock-hard Easter egg)

with a slash from the doctor's knife

you emerged screaming

and we all sang

“Happy Birthday”.


Your space-pod crashed,

cracked open –

you! –

pulled from the wreckage

by smooth gloved hands.

Warm and wet and red

as a boiled hotdog

smothered in ketchup,

your limbs intact.

No bruising, no lacerations,

but this screaming,

testing your lungs,


on the new air.

The cord tethering you

to your mother ship


cut in half.


The nurse set you on my belly –

that strained, then deflated,

beach ball.

Smashed egg.

Wrecked space-pod.

My bruised and stitched uterus

lunged and shuddered,


over the forever loss of

it's sweetest alien pilot.

But, Baby Bird!

I kissed your feathered head,

your downy body

soft as an Easter chick's.

Ten tiny caterpillar fingers,

ten tiny caterpillar toes.

I lifted your fragile wing,

listened to your wild

heart pulsing.

Your face was calm.

Your eyes awake,

dark as space and watching.

And knowing.

You can never go back.

A wall of stretched

and stapled skin

now locks you out forever.

But this is the way

it was always meant to be:


snatched from my body

and given to me.



About the Author

Danielle Stricklin

I live in Great Falls, MT with my husband, our two young boys, and our cat, Miss Edith Peanut. Years ago I acquired a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana, but now I mostly stay at home with my kids, train for marathons, and write poetry.

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