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This poem is taken from PN Review 134, Volume 26 Number 6, July - August 2000.

Four Poems C.B. McCully


Cuckoo

Ill-omened bird, bridling and dowdy, you
seemed instinct in the six-times-urgent eggs
of everyone into whose nest you flew.

And now you twat about on rotten legs
pretending to be thrush, a broken heart,
the voice of summer every bad poet begs.

You sit on fenceposts with your voice apart,
two syllables of murder in the rain.
No pain for birds like you. You killed for art.


Conversation Piece

You don't mention it, of course -
the child's death, the divorce,

the social worker's terse report;
her carefully controlled
breakdown in court.
...


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