Poetry of Claire Hersom
peculiar brand of jurisprudence;
the kind he wielded outside
on the north corner of the farm
where his axe sang hallelujah over the
necks of chickens; one minute
their stuttering walk mimicking palsy,
the next in frantic flight, running headless.
Like an odd baptism after the fact,
dipped in the scalding water bucket of floating feathers,
it was last rites for a useless heart.
Dunk and pull – Nana didn’t mind the bird in her kitchen sink
to gut and clean, she’d truss across the open belly
like she was mending socks; a plain prosperity.
When dusk fell, it filtered through the farmhouse window
on steaming plates of fresh snapped beans; fluffed
potatoes from the upper field, dotted with
butter – hand churned and set a few days ago.