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Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux published two new books in fall 2012: Child Made of Sand (poetry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and From the Southland (nonfiction, Marick Press). His Selected Poems will be coming from Bloodaxe Books in fall. He is Bourne Professor of Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Double Barrel Sparrow

He was a dingy, bush- and ground-
hopper, gray-brown,
head so tiny it seemed he had none.
In hard winters, they're the only birds you see;
wings too stubby to flap south.
They gain a climate coat and bear it.
They live off the seeds of weeds.
They are savage birds and harm no one,
which is why I nodded to him
(he seemed to be nodding to me)
as I lifted my 16 gauge
to where he perched on a branch
and gave him both barrels about four inches
from his chest, if you could call it a chest.
He was there, then vapor.
All but his feet and an inch of orange legs,
each capped with a bead of blood.
His little talons held the branch until a breeze
knocked them over, but not off,
where they hung and swung back and forth
like the swing's chains on a playground
seconds after a child has left it for the slide
or, best of all, the monkey bars.

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