Friday, 14 of June of 2024

Marcy Marchello – The Oriole

For 16 years Marcy Marchello has been Universal Access Program Coordinator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She helps disabled people experience the great outdoors.

She hosts a blog about her work at

It was 24 years ago that Marchello’s poem about an injured Oriole appeared in the Earth First! Journal.


The Oriole

You were almost overlooked
orange and black and white
stuck fluttering near the centerline.
We stopped and backed up to see you closely.
Your body so fragile, still whole,
feathers bent and brilliant
your chest mangled
your beak sharp and black
speaking to me
through my hands which cradled you
through my eyes which had only a few moments
to take in your broken beauty.
You were someone I didn’t know  but knew about
your death a shock
reminding me point blank
by-Glenn-Bartleyof a wild intimacy I struggle to claim for myself
beyond the edge of this
murderous blade
that slices through hills and forests
sacrificing a thousand times daily
the winged, four-footed, feathered, toothy, scaled, bright-eyed
aspects of ourselves
so that we may have our quick and easy
way in the world.

I set your limp body gently in the tangled grasses
and as we drive away,
through the rageless roar of the truck
slipping innocently into gear,
I hear
birds singing in the fields
and I see you

Marcy Marchello
June 1987 Earth First!

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