Seven turkeys leave the forest, walk out on
the meadow. The only male fans his tail and struts.
He chooses a female to circle, persistent, but she
keeps foraging as if her world was a straight line
to somewhere else. Besides, his juvenile sex
isn't bold enough. They all ignore his little dance.
The young male lowers his feathers, assumes
the posture of feeding. When they reach the end
of the clearing, his tail flourishes one brief time.
On the First Perfect Day of Spring
On the greening hillside beneath the clubhouse
of this campground, a lost block of wood,
rough sawn, split edged, abandoned to weather
and bad luck. When I lift it, sand greets flesh.
There is no heft to these seven inches and when
I tap its flank, such a hard, hollow heart I cannot
know with my blood. Only an empty, blackened
half circle through the top where a blade bit out
the know shows promise for a story--a skill saw
bucking up the arm of the man so that he bled
without metaphor. Today's breeze so compassionate
that slim branches need not bend to another's desire.
I want an ant, hauling a white egg sac fatter
and as long as its own dark body, to crawl out
the crack of the wood's ribless side to make
this more than some carpenter's discard
so indifferent to this first pregnant April day.
Gary Metras has two new books of poetry: Captive in the Here (forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press) and White Storm (Presa Press, February 2018). His poems have been in recent issues of Muddy River Poetry Review, Common Ground Review, Poetry East, Steam Ticket, Ibbetson Street, and Main Street Rag. He is the editor and letterpress printer at Adastra Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He fly-fishes his home rivers as often as possible.