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  • Writer's pictureJessica Lee McMillan

“Perched Magpies” by Wantanabe Seitei, Rawpixel

You can tell I’m a magpie

by the pieces I carry:

the magpie, a collector,

a good-luck bird, full of words,

hiding in patterns

round ornate mirrors,

defining the features

on the reflecting face

in patchwork verse.

I gather shiny words

that combine like mirrors

and shuffle definitions:


Anatomy: an instrument that inspects,

like a beak;

Ornithology: the gleam on plumage,

such as a bird’s wings;

Optics: A reflector,

a mirrored surface

conveying an image.

I gather words like verse,

something made, arranged

integrating like feathers,

a glistening nest

of second-hand objects.

I pocket them in my head

for when I am hungry

for a poem.

Jessica Lee McMillan © 2021


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