Jane Ann Devol Fuller

About Jane Ann Devol Fuller

Jane Ann Devol Fuller is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the co-author of a book of lyric poems, Revenants: A Story of Many Lives. A teacher at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, she has written work published by Denver Quarterly, Pikeville Review, Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature, Kaimana, and Riverwind, a literary magazine which she formerly co-edited. She is currently helping edit the StockPort Flats’ Confluence Series and completing her first full-length manuscript, tentatively titled The Torturer’s Horse.

Three Lyric Poems by Jane Ann Devol Fuller

Image of three chickadees


One of them is dead beneath the window.
The others, blind to him, flit to seed,
their cumulative weight making the feeder swing
as the light shifts to contain it.

The bird has been there for days
as if paralyzed mid-state,
too cold for odor or parasites.

I think it’s a chickadee. That black mask muffled
by the other black mask. The eyes half-slits,
the head turned the other way.
We try to identify it from inside the house.

On its back, it’s body gray and downy,
the beak stays ajar like the blade of a scissor
I might take from my drawer. A smudge of red
makes us curious whether blood made it so, the dog
scratching to go out.

I will wait until she sleeps on the rug.
I will probably not look long
at the small body, beautiful still.

The tail-feathers will make an easy
handle for hitching into the woods.

At the Feeder, Early November

At first it seems a mostly social situation,
the nuthatch clowning around upside down
on the post, a tufted titmouse
pretending to be somebody else,
looking, through the glass, like a mute cardinal
in that gray get up.

Hulls they litter to the breeze interminably,
I sweep. So I feed them

bacon, raw, on a cracked “bird
of paradise” plate, its blue
positioned so the wings are circling
something else.
Breakfast after twelve. They are about as interested
as their painted mates and prove it
in perfect proportion to their plan:
if they feed us, we will come. We watch them as if
they were a religion we’ve invented.

Tomorrow’s another day:

nothing to wake to but morning’s dull-gray light;
hickories hold their own in thirty-mile-per-hour gusts.

The birds have disappeared.
For the hell of it I keep watch, remembering.
Some days we did not need to eat,
some days it was all we could do to be nowhere

among the soldiering trees.

How To Understand Desire for An Elsewhere

On the road between my house and yours
a woman walks her lot: children,
two on scooters, one on foot,
and their dog, a big male Airedale.

Who knows where her husband is, probably inside
watching other men beat around a ball,
driving one toward a hoop, or hitting one the size of a testicle
into a small, perfect hole.

I’m no better, watching from the window,
imagining you not watching anything,
nor walking, just floating around like an idea
of somewhere else.

I’m pretty certain elsewhere is measured by the sanity of men
we would not recognize,
alone in their madrigal summers.

Nightfall works this cobalt blue to a Parrish painting I inhabit
and I watch me watch myself cry.

And you, you might

in your willingness to surrender your life
appreciate me grieving now that I have listened.

Now that I know it’s not love you were after.
But order. Something manageable.
Something of another world.