Picnic at Daybreak

I stood this morning in the way
of the sunrise,
painting my eyelids with the
slow, grey light
and the shadows of
black-capped chickadees.

I should ask for a moment
to watch pine needles sag
with yesterday’s snow,
should demand a new contract
scratched into the ground—

were I not too flighty to find
it serrated—
the scrapes on my knuckles like
the bark of this oak tree.


– Sumun Iyer, class of 2018