Pecking Order

J.R. Kangas


The wrong bird in the wrong flock,
on the nape of the neck the wrong red,
the wrong voice, wrong choir
of twits and cackles, the wrong
cluck in the wrong bush,
hackles raised, the wire
twanged from underfoot, wing
and breast feathers lost,
the rest bloody awful, bloody mess,
and nothing to make it right, nothing
but beak and claw and squawk:
appalling song.


J.R. Kangas works as a librarian and as a musician, and his poems have appeared in many magazines including Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, New Letters, The New York Quarterly, and West Branch.