spoilt bird fruit

pot jamie wyeth

we had chickens
they’d roost in a cedar tree
high in darkness
away from predators,  and
now and then
eggs rolled from branches
to rest in soft pine bed or
to crack…now and then,
to spoilt bird fruit–
is what she called them
bird fruit…
when she cooed and clucked
her Irish stories to me
about geese she fed
long ago on the Belfast lough
of her childhood…
that with her feed sack
empty , they pecked
her legs and bottom
when she’d turn her back
with no more
to feed them…
so she walked backwards
to the barn
to scatter pretend grain…
and they looked for it
until she got away


Bonnie Marshall

Art by Jamie Wyeth, 1969


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