Murder, Kettle, Exaltation, Siege

Great Blue Heron

Tendency toward feelings of superiority.

Gives back-handed compliments.

Diet consists of fish, frogs and lizards.

Frequently announces she attended a party

that you were not invited to.

American Kestrel

Promiscuous mating habits.

Soars on thermals. Aims to please.

The best of friends until you realize

he is always telling you what you want to hear.

Turkey Vulture

Black body; scrotal head;

forages on carcasses;

doesn’t build nests, lays eggs

the color of perfect pearls.

Cooper’s Hawk

White underpart with black cap,

like the one your father wore only on Sundays.

Red accusatory eyes that seem to say, “I knew

you would never amount to anything.”

Laughing Gull

Gray-black; slow flight; soars on updrafts;

freeloader. You avoid

his calls, but converse pleasantly

in unexpected meetings.

Warrants a specific sympathy.

(Sadly, the one constant in your life.)

Purple Martin

Strong, elegant, lovely singing voice.

Extremely social; fun at parties.

Fragile and in danger.

Dana Kroos received a MFA in fiction writing from New Mexico State University in 2008. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Florida Review, The Superstition Review, and othersShe also holds a MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently she is working towards a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature at the University of Houston.

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