Monday, April 02, 2007

2. Neck

Tenuous connection, the neck.
Muscles hooked up like cuts of meat in market stalls.
Climbing vines of arteries and jugular veins, and pods of thyroid and parotid glands.
The seven segments of the cervical spine (C-1 to C-7) glued by cartilage.

When I was fifteen, I broke a chicken's neck.
At backwoods camp, my scouts watching me, for no one else would do it,
I grabbed the hen by the neck (tubular like a stethoscope)
and, in the way taught, swung it round and, with a wrist-flick, snapped it to the ground.

The hen got up, squawked, scrabbled in widening circles, and shat.
I grabbed it again and this time did my job as a patrol leader should.
Someone else defeathered the bird in boiling water.
We baked it in mud, ate it with salt, and pronounced it good.


Plan for this poem-in-progress.

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