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Poor Bird


ISSUE:  Summer 1993
Poor bird, thou’dst never fear the net nor lime, the pitfall
                         nor the gin. MACBETH

Kitings and swoopings,
Such slender tether.
You would fly high
Of an evening
As if the sky was wine.
I found you with starlings
Pitched in lime;
In coal sheds,
My gawky blackbird;
In jails like aviaries.
I fledged you,
You fluttered in my hands
Like a nestling.
A peep, a preen
Of your red-breasted
Woolrich coat
And a dustoff
To dip your bill.
Where sleep you tonight
My father? In a rookery?
Not under Lucifer’s wing,
I pray.

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