Collective Unrest

 

The Familiar

February 27, 2019

Among the useless items—
a stuffed dodo,
wondrously opaque and
clear-eyed, a black hole dug
around your nested ear.

Gregor, I christen you,
leaving my human oils on your fragile beak.

I am sorry, Gregor, that
Bees Maid and borax, the most
common preservatives
could not save you from
your own mushy flesh, crawling

with the neglect of the head taxidermist
of the British Museum.
He was too fixed
on the Fiji mermaid—that wretched hoax!

I wish to honour you, O, Gregor!
See you in your glory
like the cormorants in Dublin’s Dead Zoo.

This creature cabinet
contains a charred chicken head
and an alligator foot,
above them, you, the dodo,
wizened; merlin of
stuffed specimens.

But, Gregor, you crawl with
careless
needlepoint and lice.

The varnish crumbles,
mottled feathers slicked
with shoe polish
and vinegar.

Your creator, your Frankenstein—
he ought to be dug up and stuffed,
brought back from death and brined
forced to look in your single, glass eye.

What disrespect!
What callousness!

Gregor, my friend, I will not let you fall, obscure,
into a garbage shoot
or rest lonesome in that forgotten creature cabinet.
I will hold you close to my chest
as I slip out the back door of the museum

I will stroke your empty socket
while I sleep at night,
place you on the mantel for guests to admire
keep you nestled in my bike basket with your own wool scarf.

Fear not, O, Gregor!
Fear not, my darling dodo,

for you
are on your way home.

 

Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Contemporary Verse 2 and filling station. Erin was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction. She will complete her MA in Creative Writing in August 2018 and begin a MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin in 2019. Erin‘s debut novel. Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019.

Please follow and like us:
Newer Post

Maine Pastor Seeks to Ban Books on the Library’s Banned Book Display

Because the boys kissing on the cover remind him of his first kiss. Because he thought anal sex is a type of pagan worship. Because his wife was “too pure” to try it. Because he noticed a rainbow on a…
Read
Older Post

Jump Rope Songs for the Supply Chain

Apples and Pear, Cobalt and Shares   Roland gave me cobalt, Roland gave me shares, Roland gave me what he had Despite the lung-pain flares   I gave him back our trash, I gave him back our stares, I did…
Read
Random Post

Kumari Trishna Shakya, Three-Year Old Living Goddess, Nepal

Little Miss Trishna with banyan tree body is selected as ruler today. She has the thighs of a deer, a soft duck voice, and a gold complexion displayed. Little Miss Trishna can’t eat what she wants or allow her skin…
Read
Random Post

Why Edward Kennedy was forgiven for the time he drove his oldsmobile into a pond

(after Richard Krech)   The poppies that they gather only grow in blood soaked soil under dark mountain ranges. Every thing crumbles under the weight of these white washed walls and burned history books. No one remembers the call girl’s…
Read
Random Post

Mob Rule

Consider this sea of movement, the multitude in waves. Now, deceptively calm, until by a mysterious wave of a demagogue’s hand, it shall arise tidal to sweep and ruin everything in its path. Then, what crimes in whose or what…
Read
Random Post

Pink Star

Dear Shaj Guess what? I am number one in English. Ok. So I am not really number one. But I am almost number one. I came number 12 in the exam. Are you proud of me? I know you are…
Read