The Hummingbird by Kaecey McCormick

The Hummingbird
            under the umbrella on the back patio, after Rilke

From flying the merry-go-round of umbrella ribs,
she has grown so panicked she cannot see
anything else. It seems to her a shroud
that allows no passage; yet beyond it,
the world awaits her return.

She brushes up against the cloth, again and again,
until the bright flashing of her wings
becomes a zoetrope, telling the same story
over and over; in it, another beautiful creature
becomes caged.

Only when she slows to rest, tiny feet perched
on a wooden spoke, does the ending appear—
to set herself free, all she need do is fly
in a different direction.


Kaecey McCormick is a writer and artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has found a home in different journals, including SIXFOLD, Red Earth Review, and Clockhouse as well as her chapbooks Sleeping with Demons (Finishing Line Press, 2023) and Pixelated Tears (Prolific Press, 2018). When not writing, you can find her climbing a mountain, painting, or curled up with a book and a mug of hot tea. Connect at

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