Image by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

A chick had fallen out of a branch
onto the pavement: wrinkled, purple
body no longer than the palm of my hand.

It had stubby knobs instead of wings,
a blue film over the eyes, no feathers
to speak of. I didn’t know birds were born

naked as we are. A group of us kids
gathered around, and someone touched it,
I think, with a stick, or maybe his own

fingers. I am not sure how he thought
he would feel. The blind beak kept opening
and closing, and if there was a sound

I can’t remember it.


Sophia Holtz grew up in New York and lives in Somerville, MA. She graduated from Hampshire College in 2011, where she first became interested in performing poetry, and has featured throughout the north-eastern United States. She is currently working on a collection of poems on nuclear weapons testing, radioactivity, and atomic kitsch.

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