Poetry & Prose

America You Tenderness

we chose the Bald Eagle

noble vicious raptor

why, God? who cares—do not ask Him

we’re descendants of dinosaurs

dinos had no God, they were God

same for us, although we pretend

our dino-blood pride makes us

rabbit and rat murdering

eagles abroad, but at home

we have become something else


that 65,000,239-year descent

from fang clawed lizards

made us a new bird

a chicken—but do not laugh

the chicken too is noble

its talons surprisingly

severe, a flesh-cutter beak

dangerous colorful animal

orange-green tail feathers and golden eyes

also industrious

egg-laying alarm clocks

each distinct bit of body

edible and/or useful


but here we blend distinctions

and fear the pointed edges

the beak, those horrid claws,

grind them away—to dust.

into something softer

a pleasant tender lump

no parts but chicken powder

sludge water and glucose

our shape now unfamiliar

to nature, but so familiar to us:

a nugget


no more eagles, chickens,

just the nugget. easy

to swallow if you don’t think

about it. And maybe nugs

could even be the shape of dinosaurs

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