The Bird Girls – Laura Cok

The Bird Girls

That was the year they’d call the night before
like birds that congregate on black phone wires
to plan what to wear to school the next day:
skirts, though it was a deathly winter there.

They were all spindly knees and feathered hips,
and wore their straight blonde hair like nested crowns
for their higher births and older money,
last names emblazoned across the city.

Once a friend of mine overheard in time
to wear hers. We viewed it as betrayal,
in our jeans without affiliation,
without thigh-skimming pleats, without a guard

against talons. And without brighter wings
they didn’t yet know couldn’t bear their weight.

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