Starling, by Brianna Pike

Awhile back I came across and open call from Katie Woodzick looking for poets who would like to have a poem of theirs recorded. I thought this was a really neat idea, so I sent my poem, “Starling,” in for consideration and today the recording popped up on my Facebook feed. It’s excellent and I can’t thank Katie enough for giving me this artifact to share with others.



For Roger and Beth Young
This morning I shot a starling straight from the sky.
The shiny, black bastard drove the sparrows and wrens
from your carefully kept feeders, then strutted
about the branches of our old apple tree.

You do not approve, Beth. Your gentle soul gives grace
to all creatures, even your sisters who just arrived.
You are pouring tea as I walk around the front of our house,
shotgun resting over my right shoulder.

Three sisters swoop down on your small
frame, pulling at your arms, pressing against your back.
Their cackling disrupts our quiet home, dark
eyes move over our stone floors,

pine paneled walls, and the small, cast iron stove
smoking away in the corner. You look away,
your eyes light, but your mouth a thin, rigid
line slicing your face in two.

As the youngest you bear their burden, the blame
for lost children…

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