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Save the Candor

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Every tripod-
toting birder
knows it never
nests on urban

girders. Even
fences set its
scalded-crimson
head askew, its

waddle swinging,
wings akimbo.
Few have got it
on their lists and

fewer still have
caught it singing,
this endangered
North American

candor, cousin
of the done-in
dodo, big-eyed
Big Sur tremor-

tenor — only
ten or twenty
hang glide over
Modoc County,

humbly numbered
(as their days are)
for us crazy
crown- and throat- and

belly-gazers.
Any niche as
fragile as a
candor’s renders

its extinction
certain. We can
sabotage its
habitat with

half a laugh or
quarter murmur,
fluster coveys
worth of candors

off their branches,
which, abandoned,
soon are little
more than snarking-

grounds for minor
birds, the common
snipe, the yellow-
bellied bittern.

Source: Poetry (March 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Save the Candor

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