I once stood in England in the early morning at the edge of a wheat field full of pheasants and ate my breakfast of honey and scones alongside the man I was in love with. We were on our way to see Hadrian’s Wall. The sun was gold and the wheat was gold and the honey was gold. And, so, the world was gold. I had never seen so many pheasants (ringed with those little iridescent nooses) in one place at once. I thought the birds would go on forever. I thought they would bird along the wheat beards, field after field after field—the way fields reverberate through the landscape over there like gunshots—pecking handfuls of bread into my mouth for the rest of my life. At that moment, this truth was a wafer on the tongue. But now it’s twenty years later and no sweet violence to speak of.
Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and teaches college writing. She is also an award-winning poet, and her books include, In Defense of Objects (2009), O Dear Deer, (2011), This Too (2017), and the scholarly collection of essays, Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain (2000). Poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. She lives with her human family, two Jack Russell terriers, and three backyard chickens in the foothills east of Los Angeles, where she serves as the faculty editor of MORIA Literary Magazine at Woodbury University.