Night Augur

by Lucinda Lawson

The night augur grasps thick limbs,
and flexes talons on the brittle bark
above our scurries. Stir
of silt and pulse, each stopped
breath beneath the leaves:
she takes in signs
she doesn’t know to know, unfurls
lush wings, launches,
glides. She stretches
glad, voracious claws braced
for the joy and jolt,
the clutch, the piercing
shriek. Starlight freezes
on her pinions, pools
between her wet and feathered toes.

In morning’s dim light we begin
to glean the tokens left behind
and break them open. Here
we find what won’t digest:
tufts of hair and splintered bone, tiny
sightless skulls. We look
as closely as we dare, then
roll them in our hands
and let them drop.

Lucinda Lawson lives in a rural area of the Ozarks plateau with her husband, two daughters and three cats. She has a degree in Creative Writing from Missouri State University and has published poems in several small journals, two of which have nominated her work for Pushcart inclusion. Her favorite fruit is fresh strawberries. The last time she was pregnant, she craved them so badly that she could hear the patter of small feet and chuckling of goblins, especially late at night when everyone else in the house was asleep and the refrigerator was lonely.

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