by Kathleen Wedl
Spring is dead to me. Around the time
heart-shaped leaves emerge on my Eastern Redbud
biting gnats like dark animus descend and swarm.
The mother suckers travel 40 miles to sup my neck
for the blood meal they need to produce 400 eggs,
and so it Do Si Do’s. The buggers gift? Itchy red welts.
I know what you’re thinking, they’re just doing their job,
and don’t we suck great quantities of milk from almonds?
Good God, and didn’t we just gas 60,000 hens because
restaurants closed for Covid and lo and behold,
no one could remember how to cook an egg? Now the chicks
are in hen heaven, flashing A’s in comportment, martyred
for doing as they were told, pump out eggs for The Man.
Praise for hens. When a blizzard stalls my parents
in a one-bible motel the night before I was to host
my first Thanksgiving, I sob real tears, dream I phone
their room, yelling, That’s the last fucking turkey I’m dressing,
all about my disappointment, no matter they’re stranded
for three days in a dreary box, no TV, no restaurant, not even
a deck of cards. More tears for the pies, Mom’s warm, flakey
pumpkin pies they’re forced to eat with their hands.
We donate the turkey to Loaves and Fishes. What does this
have to do with eggs? Thanksgiving. We eat them scrambled.
Kathleen Wedl has become very serious about writing since retiring from a long nursing career. She is currently engaged in a year-long master class, stirring up word mischief and experimentation. Her work has been published in Star 82 Review and High Shelf Press. She recently won first place in The League of MN Poets poetry competition.