The weasel knew their warmth in the dark,
ripped throats, let drop the gangly,

earnest bodies of two-week-old domer chicks
we found slain in the obvious morning light,

the chicken coop an aftermath, an abattoir,
blood-sopping tufts of down scattered awry,

forty-eight of fifty dead, the two living birds
huddled in a corner, heads under their wings.

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James Owens’s most recent collection of poems is Mortalia (FutureCycle Press, 2015). His poems, stories, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals, including publications in The Fourth River, Kestrel, Pikeville Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Southword. Originally from Southwest Virginia, he worked on regional newspapers before earning an MFA at the University of
Alabama. He lives in Indiana and northern Ontario.

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