Afternoon’s Dainty Gift


Outside the cellar door

fine green sword blades

radiating gray branches

brush her nose, cheek,


Just before the creaking steps,

the long, dark work hours full of

chopping, plucking, gutting

three types of fowl flooded

her sore nostrils, and filled

her fingernail clefts

Her head, tilted now toward sunlight,

stimulating the semicircular canals,

seesaw tip her about briefly

All legs, shoulders, excited ears,

the water pulsing and rushing out,

as cochlea vibrate

Back down there, the crescent ulu

swipes air

leaving all matter disturbed, darkly

Killing chickens, yes, she’d manage

But to slaughter horses for food…

When did they lose their usefulness?

To ride, to pull, to show, to sport

All gone? Did raw hunger outweigh them?

Warm, fresh air lifting butterflies

it’s these few moments of this life

outside the cellar door that carry her

Green blades against soft skin, lightly,

provoke unseen chemical reactions

Soon the chimes will signal dinner hour

The smells of meat will brighten faces

on the little ones and elders, alike

With a last breath atop the creaking steps

she descends again to darkness and work



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