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Les Oiseaux Affamés
by Stacey Balkun

A rough arm of oak reaches over this lagoon,

bough hanging low above water where turtles sun

lazy on stones beneath and no wind dares disturb

still leaves, only a flock of noisy geese that paddles

to shore, circles around a picnic blanket, begging

for sandwiches and squawking their complaints:

“Pardon! Desolé! Je voudrais le pain!”

Wok wok wok—what diners could understand

the languages of birds? This hungry chatter of

beaks turned upward, hungry—orange flags

of surrender pointed to the sun and wanting.


STACEY BALKUN is a New Jersey poet whose work has appeared in the Edison Literary Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, and Spindrift. She has worked with Middlesex County’s Arts High School and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

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