on seeing the dead bird beside the sidewalk



on seeing the dead bird beside the sidewalk


dead bird     rigid in death

wings folded     flight contained

earthbound body still


too beautiful in buffs and ochres,

blue-umbers, a little scarlet lake

or is it red madder genuine?


what is genuine     bird in flight

or bird lifeless beside

the carefully swept sidewalk?


what is madder     rhododendron

bursting into magenta

or the closed door of the condo?


bird come out too soon

lured by Indian summer faux spring


new song silenced in the throat

quiet now and unsung?


yet I pause     caught

by beauty or truth or just

lifelessness captured

in a frigid moment


closed eyes closed beak

closed wings of the still

sleeping bird


Cordelia M. Hanemann              



Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. A retired professor of English at Campbell University, she has published in numerous journals including Atlanta Review, Connecticut River Review, Southwestern Review, and Laurel Review; anthologies, The Poet Magazine's new anthology, Friends and FriendshipHeron Clan and Kakalak and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Her poem, "photo-op" was a finalist in the Poems of Resistance competition at Sable Press and her poem "Cezanne's Apples" was nominated for a Pushcart. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.  


  1. There are quite a few excellent lines in this beautiful piece.

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