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by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

speckled starling
seen through grate
perched upon
the garden gate

forsaking bough
branch or nest
on picket fence
he came to rest

fluffing feathers
as he preens
framed by fuchsias
pinks and  greens

while hollyhocks
stand at ease
up the trellis
climb sweet peas

tendrils coil
and twine around
string we tied
above the ground

‘neath this
shady, leafy bower
butterfly flits
from flower to flower

along the furrow
near the berm
starling espies
a hapless worm

starling pulls
with all his might
elusive worm
slips out of sight

I turn  to the room’s
grey walls
shelves stacked full
with antique dolls

cigar box with
cedar scent
house the letters
that he sent

writ with  pen
in flowery hand
a ring that was
the cigar’s band

mailed so very
long ago
knotted tight
with ribbon’s bow

flowered stamps
from Saigon
I glance out the dormer
starling’s gone.

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