Tom Barlow


My wife and I were taking our breakfast on the 
three-season porch so we could enjoy the songbirds 
when a peregrine falcon snatched a goldfinch 
from the air above our feeders. My wife pulled her 
shawl across her shoulders and turned her attention 

back to her tea, stirring and stirring until the ring of 
spoon against mug sounded like the tolling of a 
distant church bell. I excused myself to grab a 
broom and sweep away the yellow feathers. 

I cleaned out the feeders in the afternoon while she 
played solitaire on her phone and listened to La Bohème. 
Later, I tidied up my shop and decided the time had 
come to donate my dad’s cherished 128-piece wrench set 
to the local trade school. 

For supper, she nuked frozen potpies and we split a doughnut. 
While I did the dishes, she took a glass of scotch 
onto the porch. In the gloaming, a pair of bluebirds dared 
to investigate the new bird house I had built for her. 
She opened the window and shooed them away.

Tom Barlow an Ohio writer of poetry, short stories and novels  whose work has appeared in journals including PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji, The New York Quarterly, The Remington ReviewAurora Review, and many more. See more at