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Devon Balwit


Devon Balwit’s individual poems can be found here as well as in journals such as The Cincinnati Review, apt, Posit, Grist, Fifth Wednesday, The Free State Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Sierra Nevada Review, The Timberline Review, and more. For her reviews, chapbooks and collections, see her website at:

At the Fracture Clinic

Steve is busy about his work, sculpting
fiberglass mesh along the length of my son’s
arm. He is both gentle and firm, just
how I want my son to be when he is grown.
I want my son to speak as respectfully
of his future wife, as delightedly of his children.
Male doctors I have had enough of, but male
nurses, male technicians, these I warm to.
Such jobs have long been women’s work,
and the kind of man who chooses them has,
most likely, passed through battlefields
or come from small towns still tied to tilling
the soil. I always ask about trajectories,
wanting my son to hear myriad ways
of finding satisfaction. I watch my boy
size Steve up, imagine him imagining
himself, draping and snipping, binding
the broken, joyful in his own competence,
having settled upon what he is good at.

Winter Landscape with Bird Trap

It’s the scale that awakens such tenderness
in us, Breughel’s tiny doll babies

in their vast landscapes, each figure busy
like a flea

in a flea circus, caught by the leg. To us,
they are no different

than the songbirds approaching
the backyard trap,

seduced by life’s fatness, the amassed harvest,
turning dainty circles

until they brush against time,
and it flattens them.
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