If a bird frightens a pregnant woman,
her child will be born with a wing instead
of an arm. If a man scares her,
the child will be born with a club foot and walk
as she does, bracing.
Better the bird
in screaming flight, parting
the curtain of needles,
better its hover landing,
its eddy of wing-wind, better pricked
by the nest’s edge, absent feathers
she must pluck from her back and belly,
called to, by the weight of eggs pressing
under her buttress of hollow bones.
Then the child will know flight
is possible, how feathers anchor
in the skin.
Bio: Christine Hope Starr’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cider Press Review, Compass Rose, Confrontation, Eclipse, Lake Effect, Monarch Review, Permafrost, Spoon River Poetry Review, Studio One, Whiskey Island Magazine, and others. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and was a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee. She teaches writing and vigorous inquiry at Doane College in Nebraska.