The Corner

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Poetry

PART OF A LIFETIME

On this day in October,
driving over the train tracks,
I saw ahead of me what looked
like a big black puddle
in the middle of the pavement.
Then the mass of starlings trembled
and from its center rose up, pulling
its edges along with it,
as though an invisible magnet
had been lowered over a saucer
of iron shavings. By the time my car passed,
starling regiments chattered at ease
on the crisscrossed power lines.
I wonder what’s worse, transitions
or the lack of them.
The trees along the edge of the field
waved their Fauvist flags, but not
at me, not at any of us.

— This poem appears in the May 14, 2018, issue of National Review.

Jessica Hornik is the author of the poetry collection A Door on the River and an associate editor of National Review. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Criterion, Poetry, and many other publications.

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