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Clade Song Left

Clade Song 5


            Volant sister, I've seen you preen in borrowed feathers, dab
                        the stain of clay around your twisted
                                    neck.  From our common table you prise the kills you gorge
            in secret.  Your bower:  full of cheap, filched jewels, their gaudy
                                    glint, their lewd winks.  Below that thorny bed
            sift piles of what you neither share nor use. Young
                                                might have fledged.  Instead:
                                                            their corpses, caught, scrawl
            the raw record of your maternity.      

                                    You thought to lure a mate.  But selective pressures press
                                                                                    the males away from your brief
                                                                                                cloacal embrace.  They share
                                    their seed yet find your fitness doubtful.  The scent that wafts across
            your shoulder blades:  Beware.  You leave
                        your hoard of stuff to try
                                    the branches of the others.  Your eye that does not flinch stares
                                                            fear into each neighbor.  You think your look
            is friendly.  But you're starved. 

Clade Song 5 Right
Kimberly Miller teaches writing and humanities courses at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky. A native of Appalachia, Miller is currently at work on a manuscript about early British paleontologist Mary Anning.  



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