Kelly Everding
Strappado for the Devil
$7.00
27 pages
2004

Swan and Chicken

It was given and given
upon a plum.
Beauty regaled beauty.
They buried the hard nut of it.
The teeth in their feathers
interlocked like a zipper.
I've come close to worship
when an egg balanced on its tip
during the vernal equinox.
But no one's ever worshipped a chicken.
Slipping, the questioning
spine dipped and unred eyes.
Oh beauty for the under feathers!
Look inside and cry a ripped cry.
A prediction interrupted.
Oh swan unto itself:
lonely circle.

A chicken understands
the harp, the plucked harp.
Light explosions in the heart--
you round red mound on purpose
given and given.
An exhibit slowly follows
a dark path traveled
only by chickens.
Look at the water:
a way of parting, a moth.

The chicken on the riverbank
lays egg after egg,
one after another tumbling into the water.
Beauty regaled beauty.
A shaft of light skipped a wave,
turned time into ripe fruit.
A whistle too close?
Just shy of too much?

They met on a park bench
and exchanged eggs.
They raised each other's young
like their own: oh light tippled wave!
Illustration Five depicts a message
on high, a swansong, a quivering
cockle of the heart.
Or so I am told:
lonely circle.