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"Birds of a Feather"

Ed Lahey

(For Marylor)

A woman I love, my ex-wife
with our infant granddaughter
rounded an aisle
in the new Safeway
where we were shopping.

"There's a sparrow flying overhead,"

she said, when she saw me.
We both looked upwards.
I wanted so badly
to tell her something
she could cherish, so she
would know

that I love her, like her even,
more than I hate her, but all
I could think of was a bird
I once saw shredded
by an exhaust fan.

Feathers floating willy nilly.

She looked so fey
upon hearing my story, shyly,
so shyly, walking away,
pushing the stroller down
another aisle.

Leaving me again, again,
dead feathers gathering
about my feet.


Ed Lahey was born and raised in Butte, Montana, where he taught high school and worked on mining and pipeline operations and in the trucking business. He also taught at the University of Montana and at Carroll College in Helena. He wrote poetry for more than 50 years before his death in April of 2011. His earliest volume of poems, "The Blind Horses," won the first Montana Arts Council First Book Award in 1979. Lahey was a staunch advocate for peace and remained committed to the anti-war movement throughout his life. He used every opportunity to voice those beliefs, including his acceptance speech in Helena, when he was honored with the 2008 Governor's Arts Award for literature.

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