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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 2, June 2014

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Elizabeth Macalaster
South Newfane, Vermont, USA


Gone

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death
of Martha, the last passenger pigeon on earth.

The woods burst with us. Boughs bent and trees toppled under the weight of our roost. Our furious forage stripped the fields. Billions of us in flight eclipsed the sun, turning morning to twilight. Who but God has that power? We did, stealing the sky as we flashed by in a thunder cloud of wings. But we fell to earth under a siege of bullets, smoke and nets. Entire railroads penetrated forests, hauling machine guns that cut us down, carrying freezer cars for our bodies. Billions of us rolled to city markets. Now we soar overhead only as a thought.

passing cloud,
a shimmer
of feathers

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