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Claire McQuerry

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Claire McQuerry

Claire McQuerry is the author Lacemakers (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. She teaches at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

by this poet

Now the wire is bare; now it's sheathed 
in blackbirds, a magic that undoes me 
every time: how they alight or rise 
like iron filings drawn by a magnet. 
What purpose to this synchronous eruption
but beauty? And yet, beneath such wonder,
Take what’s unearthed—copper, bone
needle, silver coins—as evidence of continuous
human presence. Such puzzling
detritus and handiwork: this bronze 
ear pick etched with fine cross-hatch or that 
female figurine of painted clay, “meaning 
a life loan, the right blue dream
home, the ownership you deserve,
the industry to preserve. The providers help
you want it. We mortgage you “yes” and flex-
best-ible. One proud customer at a time.
That’s American wisdom: easier,