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On A Cape May Warbler Who Flew Against My Window

by
 She's stopped in her southern tracks
Brought haply to this hard knock
When she shoots from the tall spruce
And snaps her neck on the glass.
From the fall grass I gather her And give her to my silent children Who give her a decent burial Under the dogwood in the garden.
They lay their gifs in the grave: Matches, a clothes-peg, a coin; Fire paper for her, sprinkle her With water, fold earth over her.
She is out of her element forever Who was air's high-spirited daughter; What guardian wings can I conjure Over my own young, their migrations? The children retreat indoors.
Shadows flicker in the tall spruce.
Small birds flicker like shadows-- Ghosts come nest in my branches.

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