Friday Poem


And the fence needs
built, and I
of course, say yes to
the secret language of
wire, of keep out,
of property, and respect
the landowner
, then the land,
so I drive the backhoe;
the hydraulic breath, spiderlike,
blows smoke through
the brush, and 
a bird is hit 
by the blade I push.
A bird, the bird,
an eagle, young, ugly, 
bald but truly
defeathered and bleeding
and peep peep peep,
the unnerving blood. 
It squawks in my hand,
and I remember the words,
A fossil we can leave,
but something of life lived 
before, bury and destroy.
left smashed stones, 
sharpened, and clay, hardened, 
in my wake, and again,
a symbol in my hand,
and I thought to free it to 
life unknown and wolves,
Think. It’s easier with chew. 
But it’s gone,
and I looked up
to the hills, feeling watched,
a spine of rock, fishlike
sent as punishment from
God, or a god, another, 
so I grabbed and twisted the feathered neck, 
then buried the eagle 
beneath a Copenhagen headstone,
a signpost of a secret language 
that I’d try to speak
to others at home 
around my five-hundred dollar table,
cast-off wood, covered in tobacco tin lids,
a hundred at five dollars, each,
and epoxy, a joke
of excess.

by Tyler Julian
from Echotheo Review