Open Hand

Jim McGowan

Jim McGowan is an English teacher living and working in Madrid, Spain. In his free time, he's an amateur poet and illustrator. His work has appeared in his self-published book, Covert Love Poems, as well as on public transportation in his hometown of Seattle, Washington.


Seattle // Madrid

Unlike a little boy clenches a chick

As a pillow, though its feathers were on the inside

And it didn’t have a fast-

Beating heart. It wheezes through its beak. Legs

Stick out—an intervebreaking squeeze.

Its eyes tremble, bulge, close tiredly.

His mom replaces the chick while he sleeps.


Why the chick doesn’t grow never occurs to him.

All he knows is he loves his chick,

So he clenches it tight like a pillow.

Will he learn to love with an open hand