T. E. Ballard
( Minneapolis, Minnesota )
Chicken Little Was a Woman
The sky dropped in small slivers
silver as pins, the flat touching her skin
then the tip. Her arms and legs were red
poppies blooming and when the larger sections fell
they were clouds: a man, a house, a slice of bread.
She had nursed herself on illusions,
the white milk leaving its trace on her lip.
It was as if all life were this falling,
falling through fingers.
When they first called her crazy
she gathered their shapes, strung them together
as beads--an abacus of dreams.
The sky died like a woman first turning blue, then pink.
She knew night to be a man, his body a coat,
the colors of morning slipping out of his sleeve.
It was then they cut out her tongue
and shaped her mouth as a beak.
Next - Cheryl Dodds
Current Issue - Winter 2006