If I’d looked it up later that day
I would have found the hollow bone edge
is called the wrist; that a slope descends
to forewing, that overlapping coverts
are lesser, greater, median, and scapulars are where
the back begins. If I could have looked beyond
the raw, torn joint, and stood at the mouth
of my coppice den, to let it fall open
like a satin fan, I’d have seen the perfect shoulder
of the bastard wing, full flush secondaries
and mantel of the hind, each quill
blue black and slickly primed.
But what it lacked was all I saw so I ran,
as rooks mocked and raved
in the ruin of trees.
First published in The North, January 2017.