[Please enjoy Nancy Krygowski’s latest, rife with telling details.]
She hacks the chicken’s bare body into parts:
Thigh, wing, drumstick. That is how hard
she pounds, the chicken a drum she needs to keep time
with because where does time go? Years ago, it seems,
when she was just married? she stuck her hand inside
the bird, drew out the blue-black of the liver. And a child asked
What’s that? She can’t have just been married, this child
is one of many. She pulled out the red-blue of the heart.
What’s that? She didn’t answer, couldn’t, put them
in a small enamel bowl. Over the stove’s lit burner, she turns
each part, singeing pin feathers from the bumpy, gelatinous skin.
She wants to peel it off, but her husband, or a son, likes the snap
and grease of it between his teeth. It is a daughter who watches.
In a cedar chest, a wedding dress lays wrapped in black paper.
Had she ever read Shakespeare? Tomorrow is Tuesday.
Pile of wrinkled shirts. Meatloaf and green beans for dinner.