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Artifice

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The plastic Great Horned Owl, stuck with glue
on the stamped tin, corbelled cornice lip
impresses no one — not the starlings that dip
and stitch, nor pigeons as they fluff and coo
around its feet. And vinyl siding’s too
regular — each molded, faux-grained strip
identical, but for dents, and that drip
of   bird shit from a sill. What if all you
might say speaks like crafted, ersatz things:
mimicry in a tongue you barely know?
Your owl signs death, the cornice stone, the fake
clapboard conjures farmhouse. While just below
the ledge, a wren’s mindless gestures make
an altar of twigs, in veneration of wings.



Source: Poetry (May 2013)

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

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Artifice

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