Peacock Feathers

A. E. Stallings

Winter 2017

A plague of feral peafowl in the garden
(I know—who knew?) now decimates the grapes,
Makes salad of the young geraniums,
Kerfuffling dust-baths in denuded planters.
They leave ubiquitous piles of poo, as drab
As any other poo.  They make that sound
As if of something throttled in the jungle,
Or honk to out-goose geese.  They’re worse than roosters
At judging dawn—say four a.m.—the moon,
When full, rattles them off, one after the other.
They’re something else to fight about:  you swear
Come autumn, you’ll take up a rifle—blam!
Are we the sort who murder birds?  Sometimes
They catch us off-guard with pure pulchritude,
The sheer implausibility of it,
Sublime unlikelihood.

A. E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has recently published a new verse translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days (Penguin Classics), and a new collection of poetry, Like (with FSG).

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