Amber Edmondson


When the first shafts came
to the central counties, the men
discovered dense colonies
of birds deep underground,
subsisting on thick,
white worms, excavators long
before mines existed.

The men tried to move them,
to bring them to the light,
but the birds shrieked, flapped
their tightly woven, golden
wings, and the men found
the most surprising thing:
they could breathe without choking,
a side-show thing of miracles.

Across the Iron Range, miners built
cages for the birds, kept them
at the bottom of those shafts,
and sang to them the songs
they imagined the birds would sing,
if they were alone, just birds
and dirt and ore.

Amber Edmondson is a poet and book artist who lives near Marquette, MI. Her work has appeared in Border Crossing, Midwestern Gothic, and Storm Cellar Quarterly. She has received three Pushcart nominations.

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