Parenting and Sacrifice

1. The Epiphyte
Sprouting from the folds
of trunk and branch,
it reaches up to sun and down to soil.
The narrow tendrils twist to gain support.

Once the host is dead, the vines persist upright,
supplant the scaffolding that raised them.

2. The Brood Parasite
Before she killed her stepsisters,
she’d memorized their mother’s plumage
Her brighter mouth the most insistent,
the others starved to weakness,
she pushed them off the ledge.

Laying now herself, she picks the host
who most evokes the nest that she destroyed.

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