There once was a promise of 1,000 cranes
made to a girl who had survived the bombing
at Hiroshima. 1,000 paper cranes, folded with
perfect corners, were given to her so she
would live. When the girl died soon after, a
pond was made in her honor.
Cranes come there to dance together, to
swim in the water.
“She was pulled out by the weight of
curiosity,” they said, after her small body,
heavy with lifelessness, was found below
the third floor window. That she was blind
and deaf and tied to a radiator pipe in a
featureless bedroom goes unsaid.
“They enjoy seeing themselves corrected,”
they said when questioned.
On the 25th floor of a concrete and steel
building on Michigan Avenue two peregrine
falcons are born. They flap their wings in a
nest that seems to hang from nothing, suspended
in air. “More than half are born up there,”
they tell you, “because they’re endangered.”
We come home late. Plastic bags hang from
trees up and down our block, carried on the
wind brought by street sweepers, garbage
trucks. They hang as unlit lanterns, opaque
bird catchers. Swallows whisper in the leaves.
A young woman’s wrists are bound in steel.
Her newborn was found this morning in
the neighbor’s trash can, wrapped in flimsy
plastic shopping bags.
The night before, Mars aligned with Venus,
then Jupiter, above her. Three planets set in
permanent motion around the sun, with no
thought of breaking free.
Creation’s twins play by the water. Always,
one is angry, the other feels nothing. They
throw small stones at each other, then into
From the water comes a woman, her belly
Kate Ingold is a graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the former publisher and editor of the Journal of Ordinary Thought (www.jot.org). A chapbook of her work, Sky/Map: An Earthwork Diary, was published in 2001 with a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. She recently moved to New Orleans to join her husband.