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Martha McCollough

Condors

I saw one caged alone in Salt Lake City: 

all mournful stillness

 

the shock when it stirred, raising 

huge wings like a threat of storm

 

a plumed hanging judge 

head a bony pink fist

 

wild condors sleep prone, heads 

tucked, in mountain treetops

 

under expressionist moonlight

harsh and hard-edged

 

by day the stately arrival at the deathbed

the grisly funeral rites and chattering wake

 

soaring, the condor forgets it is tagged and measured

is unaware that it transmits a signal

 

knows one favorite fact: everything 

living wants to keep on and cannot 

Martha McCollough authorphoto - Martha McCollough.jpg

Martha McCollough lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. She has an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. Her poems have appeared in Radar, Zone 3, Tampa Review, and Salamander, among others. Her chapbook, Grandmother Mountain, was published by Blue Lyra Press in October 2019, and her full-length book of poems, Wolf Hat Iron Shoes, will be out in Spring 2022 from Lily Poetry Review Books.

Bear Review

9.2

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