Iowa Writes

"A Goldfinch"

The Baltimore oriole, seldom an Iowan,
was last thought seen to be bathing
where we took coffee on a sweltering morning
yet in Iowa, a fan failing at our feet.
It was a sign, not of betrayal either.
That yellow breast of hers looked cool
and the white bars on her black wings
returned to us the formal in weather
without shape, shimmery. So a goldfinch.
The mind is a wonder, is my summary.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Marvin Bell is using a Guggenheim Fellowship to stay at home. A new book of his poems, Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See, will be published by Atheneum in February.

"A Goldfinch," published originally in the Fall 1976 issue of The Iowa Review (7.4), is available on the magazine's online archives.

This page was first displayed
on September 11, 2013

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