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When Solomon was born, birds came soaring,
waddling, swimming, flapping around the air.
They cheeped and honked to celebrate the day;
a few chipped in to give him a layette—
eiderdown, eggs, and less-appetizing things.

Ad hoc solidarity to honor
David’s gilt- and purple-bundled heir:
pterosaur, canary, cassowary,
hummingbirds flanked by a pair of penguins sweating
fishily—everyone who could fly was there.

They waited—jostled—shoved at the nursery door—
brawled, guano flying; everywhere
blood, owl pellets, drifts of white duvet,
gamboge splots of yolk on the baby’s blanket.
All they had in common was their wings.

—Deborah Warren