Pfeilstorch, 1822

by Miranda Cichy


On the lawn of Schloss Bothmer
the stork blew in like a silk dress
lifted from the line. Shot once

by spear in Africa, it carried itself
across the countries twice,
gravitated to their guns.

They knew then that everything
was wrong: how birds flew
to the moon and back for winter,

slipped below thick ice
on winter ponds, morphed
into other beings, slept.

The stork’s wings spread
a dark horizon. Fingers drafted
arcs above its death.

In the museum, they folded it up,
fixed its legs to stand parallel
with the spear. As if you might

confuse the two as one, as if
the white neck would not raise
its fountain, without their splint.



Miranda Cichy’s poems have most recently been published in Curlew Calling (Numenius Press) and Nature and Regeneration (Corbel Stone Press). She is due to begin a PhD in ecopoetry and avian extinction at the University of Glasgow later this year.