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Sunday, July 16, 2006


by Bonnie Naradzay

Flashing his crest of feathery plumes like any royalty,
the Kingfisher plunges headfirst in the river, beaks prey
that only his air-and-water-designed eyes can see
and with a whir of wings against rock-like clay
feeds his flame-red, tail-lifted mate, astride their eggs.

Carnage comes from the same force and symmetry
that erected our wingless, fumbling selves on two legs.
Without redemption, there’s no evolving, and we’re buried
or eaten whether gobbled up, swallowed whole or poisoned.

Tyrannical to our own kind, we’ve doomed
ourselves to strutting and declaiming. Stunned
but insistent, stumbling among bloody blooms

of amputees’ limbs and headless bodies of our own making,
we savage an ancient Eden that’s paradise for birds’ migrations.

Bonnie Naradzay is in the Stonecoast MFA program, has a poem forthcoming in JAMA, and has published in numerous online publications.