Turkeys

                                             - Hannah Craig

The morning rush has hedged the wedge-headed band
onto a grassy island where they stand, chuckling nervously
at passing trucks, plucking half-dead bugs
with nervous systems deadened by cold.

The gold shape of the honeylocust overhead
shifts by the moment, losing form with each rake
of the breeze. Leaves hover like radial diadems.
The turkeys shuffle forward, back—traffic won't relent.

But they don't want to seem alarmed. The young hens fluff
with indifference. The gobbler puffs his chest. We're here now,
he seems to say, and not at your behest. We're headed
somewhere you've never been.
                                            
Lord I don't want to go

with them. This world's so hard—snow sweeps
from the west, hives fall silent, and water drips
from mortar, brick, and eaves. The order
of our spirit has been pricked and now we wait
for death to call, for forward-motion, for the route
to be detoured. I can't see how to help them cross.

The light has changed.
                                         The light is changing once again.