Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


No Birds in the Bog 
by Rebecca Leet

Not yet midwinter, a grim sky
shrouds desolate treetops. Ice 
melts soil to sludge. The human heart
beats as in a bog. Not so 

the heart of a downy woodpecker,
whose staccato drilling breaks the silence
as she hunts for breakfast. Or
the lone blue jay who—lustfully— 

whistles for company, his indigo body stark
against white sycamore bark. Or a flamboyant
male cardinal trilling prettee as he surveys
mallards fishing in the frigid Four Mile Run. 

Rebecca Leet has lived in Fairlington and North Arlington since 1977. Her career has been in the Washington area, starting as a congressional reporter for The Washington Star and ultimately running an independent consultancy specializing in message development for thirty years. Her work appears in various publications, including Passager, where she won an honorable mention in the 2018 Passager contest. “No Birds in the Bog” first appeared in her book Living with the Doors Wide Open

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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