She Said Something


picture the nigerian priest. 

picture his vestments, red—his long fingers, like branches of a sycamore

telling his story. now picture his father he said,

the hunter. deep in the wood,

feet in dilapidated boots

crushing dry brush—

just missing the hidden nest. picture

the hunter—a human scaffold—

run-walking the eggs

to his hens’ coop—

beating nightfall. 

picture 21 days later—hearing the peal

of the beaks cracking shell—the fledgling

chicks sipping their first taste of unforgiving air.

picture 15 days later—the Nigerian

hunter taking matters

in his rough-hewn hands.

the priest son on his altar, shows us—

his father, scooping up the one bird,

hoisting it high before the daybreak sun.

picture the bird unconfusing itself—

crying its hawk cry—clawing

at the same unforgiving air

for its first flight—

for its sibling chickens left behind.