The Lost Country

Fall 2015 • Vol. 4, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)

The Perfect Wing Flicks Up and Down

By Cathy Bryant

This work was published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

It’s the usual anonymous flat fur remnant
over a lasagne of bloody entrails,
but this time—this particular corpse—

—each time a car passes, a wing fans up
in perfect extension, so well-designed
that it outlasted life. Then down it snaps
as the air falls still again.

Glory be for dappled things—a speckled wing
and, at the root of the spray, heart-wrenching fluff,
as if it could protect the match-boned bird.

Almost like a middle finger fuck you,
one tiny defiance for the numberless flattened.

A grouse or pheasant, I think.
How often have I seen that streak of heathered ground
come alive, take off in a flurry
of whirrs and colours; usually spotted
from a zooming car.

We were past it in two seconds.