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Ornamental, a poem by Martha Christina


When the young
sharp shinned hawk
lands on the feeder, 
the small song birds
have already fled. It
settles on the top, 
immobile, almost 

Those who know 
more than I about 
hawks assure me 
is a human emotion,
not something a hawk
feels, left alone with
only sunflower seeds.

Martha Christina was born and raised in Indiana, earned a BA in Spanish from IU Bloomington, and married in Beck Chapel there. She now lives in Bristol, RI, but considers herself a Hoosier-at-heart. She has published two full-length collections, Staying Found (Fleur de lis Press) and Against Detachment (Pecan Grove Press), both of which contain poems set in Indiana. Individual poems appear recently in Crab Orchard Review, Star 82 Review, and Tiny Seed Journal.

Image: Cyanotype of British Algae by Anna Atkins (1843)