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POETRY
Cracked (Starlings)
Danelle Lejeune

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Last winter I sat cross legged in the empty house at night.
I sing like crystal. I am perfectly cut Czechoslovakian glass.
The orchard is dying, the branches all charred with fire blight.

I have learned to hold my wicked tongue, forked against the fight.
I listen for the ground to shake like a rattlesnake in the grass. 
Last year I lay spread like a dead mouse in the empty barn at night. 

The red oak wood, waxed against the grain, scarred by starlight
My mouth cracked and bleeding, the air dry, my body a trespass. 
The orchard is dying, the branches all charred with fire blight.

Wild girl who caught belt leather, ran so fast, a starling in flight.
And learned her lesson, red cheeked and full of sass. 
Last April I sat cross legged in the empty boat at night. 

Waves rocking, water trickling in the small hole, not quite
Watertight.  My heart could blaze like lightning and drown fast. 
The orchard is dying, the branches all charred with fire blight.