• 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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