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————the year the lord
————sent—-the mockingbird nests

they surrounded the house
————twigs———— a loose
braid a tangled—————–— mimicry

the lord gave
the birds unto ———————the ersatz
house——— mocked the face-high

boughs weighed down
with nests—-the lord hung
copies hung—-counterfeits

in every————line of sight
the ersatz—-lord
derided—-nests inched closer

to my hunger———————the borrowed
——–—in my clutching—–—the beak

and——the lord——the simulated lord

——saw fit to repeat
another’s rough song

——the lord has seen——-—before
——this speckled—— orb
this year—–— the lord

has mocked
———–has envied——and spied
has burlesqued——–—and lined

with fine material
this moss—–—and grass

has hung—–—swiftly
—————————cries from boughs

has——scoffed has—— stolen
song there was



Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the poetry collections Doll Apollo (forthcoming from LSU) and Dear Weather Ghost (Four Way) and the novels The House Uptown (Flatiron) and Sunset City (Ecco). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Fence, Southwest Review, and other magazines.




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