Sophie Klahr

   Marquette, NE

Hours after the neighboring crop duster had filled

its yellow buzz to saturate the acreage,

I was on my weekly drive to town

and stopped at a songbird

lolling in the road

like a limb

gone to pins and needles.

In my hands,

the songbird’s heart was other—

It could not bring itself to fly. Or stand.

And a few feet away was another.

I took them back, in a box, to the land

I was living with for awhile,

where I was told that this just happens

sometimes, after:

the birds just fall.

In a few hours, both were dead.

And the crops?

They lived and breathed mostly

only how they were allowed;

they went somewhere, I don’t know,

perhaps to be broken down and into

something I would buy and use

and trash.

And the birds?

I dug a hole

and buried them together.

I wished I was,

at the very least,

a vulture.

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