Ellis Elliott

On The Eve of My Son’s Early Onset Schizophrenia Exam 

The plumage of my devotion unfurls

inside a canopy of tangled tree branches.

My ragged wings reach to hide the moss-

covered nest of my son’s shiny eccentricities. 

My delicate spine curls to cover his disparate

offerings: scraps of tinfoil, gold nib of fountain pen,

and the shifting hues of a hummingbird feather. 

He hears them, insistent shards of sound coming

closer, voices circling and lifting from roots below. 

The funnel clouds of chatter rise. With your small 

body tucked beneath mine, I take off, while I still

think we can outrun this, while my talons clutch

your soft belly so tight they draw blood.

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About the Author

Ellis Elliott is a writer, writing group guide, and ballet teacher. She has a blended family with six grown sons. She has an M.F.A. from Queens University, is a contributing writer for the Southern Review of Books, and section editor for The Dewdrop contemplative journal.