The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Studies of Familiar Birds by Carrie Green

Study for Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Virginia breaks the eggs open
with her sketch until two nestlings
spill out, their tiny bodies
hunched like raisins
inside the lichen-plastered nest.

She composes what she recalls:
the sharp triangles of bills,
the bulge of eyes beneath shut lids,
the stringy down along the spine,
awkward as a first mustache.

She documents the birds’ imagined growth.
Their beaks lengthen and eyes open.
Their quills prick through black skin.
Then the greening feathers
and wings that strain

against the stretched-out nest.
Virginia fledges the birds
out the studio window to the garden,
where trumpet vine waits
for the flash of still-white throats.

This selection comes from Studies of Familiar Birds, available from Able Muse Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Carrie Green’s book, Studies of Familiar Birds, is forthcoming from Able Muse Press in December 2020. She earned her MFA at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and has received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Northwest, River Styx, Flyway, Blackbird, Cave Wall, DIAGRAM, and many other journals. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and works as a reference librarian in a public library.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.

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