The 2River View 27.4 (Summer 2023)

Jane Ellen Glasser

An Invitation to Hummingbirds

I have hung a feeder
outside my glassed-in patio
where again this spring
my gardenia bush blooms.

I have never seen hummingbird
wings fluttering above
their blossoms but what
is nectar if not an invitation.

Inside, in a crystal bowl set
on the mahogany credenza,
gardenias float, exhaling
their perfume. I inhale
and thrill to the memory
of lazy days of love making.
Tell me, who can resist
the seduction of sweetness?

Not even the gods of Mount
Olympus who feasted on nectar
and ambrosia delivered
each morning by doves.


Flattened like a leather purse,
all its worth
(heart, kidneys, liver)
splattered out,
I wondered if the tires
had taken aim
at the poor iguana.

A shroud of insects
flew off
as I lifted it by its toes
to a bed of grass,
knowing full well,
in the collision
of time and chance,
nothing is
out of the way
of death.

On the threshold
of 78 years,
I asked myself
what in my future
was already
taking aim at me.

And then,
in a blink,
yellow butterfly wings,
(so like the mind
that flutters
from thing to thing),
with the glorious name
cloudless sulphur,
lifted me
into the present

Jane Ellen Glasser has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Her two most recent collections are Staying Afloat during a Plague (2021) and Crow Songs (2021). (website)

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