Two Po­ems

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

THE CAPON EX­PLODED OUT OF THE PRES­SURE COOKER AND STUCK IN the kitchen ceil­ing. It hung there like a black chan­de­lier. Peo­ple took turns try­ing to pull it out with no suc­cess. Its charred head poked out of the roof and acted as a weather vane. The wind pol­ished it un­til it gleamed like a well-worn door­knob. We ad­justed to the smell of burnt bones and car­ried on. In the 9th cen­tury, Pope Nicholas de­creed that a cock had to top every church steeple in Europe. Our home was a holy place. We wor­shipped all that walked. All that flew.

ON A SAD WED­NES­DAY EV­ERY­THING IS SOAKED EVEN THOUGH IT HASN’T rained in weeks. Af­ter the guests leave, you stand in the hall­way won­der­ing what to do with their suit­cases and the aban­doned dog. On Wed­nes­day, the frayed noose hang­ing over the tree branch is just a rope swing the kids rode through long sum­mers ago. In the book­case, Bury Me Stand­ing leans against Black Let­ters. In one, por­traits of the poet, the politi­cian, the child pros­ti­tute. In the other: vi­sion­ar­ies and ex­trem­ists. Both are un­read on the last bit­terly cold Wed­nes­day of the year. A hum­ming­bird sings a sin­gle note, the nee­dle-pointed in­ten­sity of which stops you in your tracks. Where can you go to find the lost le­gends and songs? The time of wan­der­ing gyp­sies has passed but on this sad Wed­nes­day you see them. The moon on the wane, their tin lanterns trem­bling on the wa­ters.

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