RK bird
Photo courtesy of Rachel Kertz

A Nelson’s Sparrow is a bird without a flight or fight instinct. A predator could be a breath away and a Nelson’s Sparrow wouldn’t fly away, even when it should. This is important to know.


Nelson’s Sparrow
flies in front of me.
Once upon a time
a man held me as
a broken bird. But
when I tried to flee
his hands tightened.
And my bones fell
from underneath
me. Helping hands
did not aid me they
took me away from
him. My bones are
maps with rivers
and highways on
them. The doctor
took another x-ray
at my incessant
request but these
maps did not lead me
back to a happier
present tense. He was
a twitcher, my
Bird Watcher
and I was his
Nelson’s Sparrow
I did not run
even when I
should have.
Now I watch
this bird fly
away. I wonder where
we’ll stop to land.





Faith Reale has enjoyed writing since she was very young and continues in her pursuit of the written word (her pretentious way of saying writing is her passion). For seventeen years, she has resided in Northern Virginia, but soon she will ideally head off for a higher level of education, preferably somewhere far, far away. She enjoys watching too much Netflix when she should be doing her homework, spending time with her family and friends, and, of course, reading and writing at all hours of the night. Faith is passionate about animal rights and lives a plant-based lifestyle. She looks forward to traveling around the world and writing about her experiences with her typical witty sarcasm.

Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work on Flickr.

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