Susan Tepper is the author of eight published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent book just out in June is a road novel titled “What Drives Men.” It was shortlisted at American Book Fest Best Book Awards. Other honors and awards include eighteen Pushcart Nominations, a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for the novel “What May Have Been” (Cervena Barva Press, and currently being adapted for the stage), NPR’s Selected Shorts Series, Second Place Winner in Story/South Million Writers Award, Best Story of 17 Years of Vestal Review, Shortlisted 7th in the Zoetrope Novel Contest (2003), Best of the Net and more. Tepper is a native New Yorker.

Wingless Birds

Cleanse the rocks with snow
truck tires spit mushy cleats
ruin dinner and
horse hooves clop
across the roof—
chimney’s smoking again
from that pot belly stove
you insisted—
blackens the wall
a corner mostly bare:
your feet
are wingless birds in winter.