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My two surgeons climbed trees,
           trudged millponds in Arkansas

for the white-billed woodpecker,
           that lonely myth. And on Monday,

they gathered their Sunday finds
           and their life birds—

elusive warbler, scarlet tanager—
           over the operating table.

They barnstormed my body
           with talk of crows and ravens,

repeating Corvidae in the cornfields,
           Corvidae with the prism-tinted wings,

while they cradled organs they removed
           like baby birds fallen from a nest.

I slept to murders and unkindnesses,
           to the lull of Corvidae

That’s -dee, not –day, and not -die.  


Kristin Robertson is a PhD candidate in creative writing at Georgia State University. Her poetry has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Willow Springs, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere.