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The Drought

 

         Dip him in the river who loves water … said the cook on the cooking show … Take the hearts of thirty ducks … and here’s the trick … You must keep them wet … the way to go … the way to go is broth … Okay … Broth of hearts of duck … I went to go buy broth stuff … a bay leaf … Oh said the grocer … With duck heart what you want is spice … Curry the thirty hearts he said … Back home … Hurrying … Okay, curry … The mailman smelled the place … Oh ho, he said … I smell blood … he opened the pot … Why if it isn’t 30 duck hearts … Of course you’re going to skewer them … ? Skewers … I had to … I had to go … I ran down to the hardware depot … Skewers … ? Well it’s not BBQ season … I persisted … I explained the meal … the populace … Meanwhile … customers were coming … buying out all the salt and shovels … for the blizzard … buying out all the fireworks … for the Fourth … buying out all the hammers and nails … for Hurricane Ross … Remained: some rope … I’d hang them … if I had to … It’s not thirty duck hearts is it … asked the clerk … I didn’t dare talk … To skewer the hearts of thirty duckers … he said … you need the beaks of thirty ivory-billed woodpeckers … Are those … rare? … As rare as they come, he said … Better give me 31 …

         Ran home … the kitchen was smelling … Okay … Okay … Almost ready … The places set … Candles lit … The downstairs neighbor tuning her pipe organ … … 29 special guests filed in … Please sit … May I present … In the heart of each duck … there was a glint … majestic … They said, Is that … ? Yes, I said … Yes … each one swimming in sauce and broth … Oh, they said … Oh no no no … Had I … ? Were they … ? No, no no no no … Dip him in the river who loves water … Yes that’s the recipe I followed … That’s not the way it goes … anymore … they said … They said … each heart should be served raw … and drowning … in a sacred diamond-flavored fountain … I was so … I didn’t usually believe in impressing … But these guests! … Honestly … They were just … They were as hungry as I was … One especially kind … one offered to … to pawn the woodpecker skewers … I lied … said they were worthless … said, Oh they were free … Oh just papier-mâché … Oh found a ton of them lying around … down … where the river used to be …

from Madame XFind more by Darcie Dennigan at the library

Copyright © 2012 Darcie Dennigan
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Published in Darcie Dennigan Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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