Goose

G
Trailing her father, bearing his hand axe,
the girl thought she had never
guessed what earthly majesty
was before

then, as he strode unconcernedly
holding a vicious gander
by the horny mitts and let
the big wings

batter his knees. She was also surprised
to feel a liberating
satisfaction in the coming
bloodshed, and

that notwithstanding all the times she had
been beleaguered and
had fled, today she did not fear
the barnyard hubub.

Yet, as her father’s clever stroke fell, as
the pronged head skipped sideways
and the neck plumes stiffened with blood
from the cleft,

she was angry; and, when the headless goose
ran to the brook and was
carried off into the woods alive,
she rejoiced,

and subsequently frequented those woods
and avoided her father.
When the goose began to mend she
brought him small

hominy, which was welcome though she had
to press the kernels one
by one into the pink neck that
throbbed into

her palm; when haemorrhage occurred she would
not spare handkerchiefs,
and stanching the spot she felt a thrill

But for the most part there was steady progress,
and growing vigor was
accompanied by restlessness,
and one cool day

the blind thing was batted out of existence
by a motorcycle.
She had no time for tears. She ran
upstairs to miss

her father’s barytone commiseration,
then out onto the fields,
and, holding an old red pinwheel,
ran ran ran ran.
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