Summer/Fall 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 1999 |

The Teal’s Wing

Above the tide line, above the dead   Inch-long crabs and the halves of clamshells,     Beyond the contorted strands of kelp And seaweed in the sand by a driftwood stump,   The wing of a teal by itself, severed,     The iridescence of the wing-patch bright As the green afterlight of sunset.   It has been cut neatly. A smooth oval     Of skin, still pliant, surrounds The end of the humerus. It can still be   Stretched (with the help of all your fingers)     To its short length, to the point Of its first gray primary feather as if ready   Now to stroke its missing body forward     In full flight. The hinge at the ulna And radius draws the overlapping rows   Of primaries closed again almost     Naturally. Even the cartilage At the fused wristbones and phalanges   Still moves as if to flare the trailing edge     For a last landing. If you could see The rows of barbs on each side of each shaft   More

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Telling What Happened

By David Wagoner

Above the tide line, above the dead   Inch-long crabs and the halves of clamshells,     Beyond the contorted strands of kelp And seaweed in the sand by a driftwood stump,   The […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.