Hunger on the Wing

Past the gopher hole
sunk deep as a well digger's

test bit, gopher hole clawed
right through asphalt

past the jovial mutt's
loose dirt shimmy

under chain link,
past the frenetic stashes

of stacked-up mail,
we walk into the redtail's

open season, hawk/

on the wing.
When talons snatch

her up, the blue
lizard flies.

Black Turnstone

Far away you twist,
turn, count all the reasons not
to love. By the lake
a bird I have no name for
splits the air before my face.

All The Mustaches On All The Judases

Hairs from the base of the tail
of a striped cat fed on lard

touch up both flourishes
(the liberal/the old guard)

of Judas's mustache.
All the mustaches on all the Judases

lashed to firecrackers
the night before Easter

blast into Kingdom Come
or the next day at least

when we see what one kiss
ordains--that betrayal

reveals the soul,
stands us naked

in the spotlight.
One kiss--lit fuse!

Then the brain-blasting
strobe of owning up.

*Though outlawed in 1957, the practice during Holy Week
of each family destroying an effigy of Judas continues
in Mexico and Central America. Many of the artists who
create Judas figures also make skeletons in action for
the Day of the Dead.

- Peggy Z. Shumaker

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