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Ben Franklin's Bird

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  • Ben Franklin's Bird

    He is, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage. – Ben Franklin

    From my bed I often hear
    a turkey's boast, poured out
    like water startled, then silly-jiggled,
    tickled
    out of its pitcher into the creek.

    Watching the rafter of wild turkeys
    Meleagris gallopavo
    it's easy to laugh – the absurd
    bravado
    each strut a fiction of important mission
    belied by dangling bulbous snood.

    The black beards arch
    from their chests
    thin
    like darkest arrogance.

    Their names are linked with rank failure
    a turkey film is a flop
    a turkey human
    a sucker
    a birdbrain tomfool, sunk.

    But this morning one look
    out my window reveals a lump,
    feathers
    like soft brown sugar
    with green lawn piping.

    That sound in my throat is laughter dancing
    round to show its tangled
    mate
    as I stumble to what was wild,
    what is dead.

    Still in pajamas and apron
    I am your snow-shovel
    hearse
    to the blurred woods in back.

    Startled by my own voice
    (like water shrill and crippled)
    in the soft suburban morning
    I talk of your fuzzed little
    chicks
    seen tilting along in the spring woods.

    Was it you that lifted your young
    with snood-and-beak to scramble
    over brambles and fallen
    trees?
    Probably your mate.

    Will she mourn your shades-of-auburn
    beauty,
    grieve your self-important swagger,
    miss your thin dagger of a beard?

    Not strong enough to bury you
    I choose
    a honey locust with a view
    of the peacock blue-green creek –

    burrs
    and babble are all I have
    to cover your now meek form.
    Last edited by arcarpenter; 01-29-2015, 04:55 AM.

  • #2
    An excellent poem! Well done.

    Comment


    • #3
      "I am your snow-shovel
      hearse".... brilliant.

      Comment


      • #4
        You drew me into your world with this.

        Comment


        • arcarpenter
          arcarpenter commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah, then let me welcome you to this world. Thank you, John.

      • #5
        This poem has true artistry. You are a sculptor of words. Lovely!

        Comment


        • arcarpenter
          arcarpenter commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you so much, debbie_eg. I'll sculpt words with you anytime.
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