Exhibit number one

Jane Dougherty Writes

I heard the bird-shriek,
the blackbird’s repeated cry;
it cried distress not anger or alarm.

From the window, I saw
beneath the honeysuckle,
owl wings beating, overcoming,
and the owl face that turned to mine
as if to say, this is life and death,
and you, behind your glass may watch,
but stay away.

A final tightening of the grip,
and the brown brindled wings spread,
flew to the trees,
was blackbird, a black bundle of dead feathers
or in a pre-death trance,

and I felt like a thing in a zoo
behind my glass,
living an artificial life,
an exhibit
that no one comes to stare at anymore.

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