Post Road Magazine #9

No Child Will Choose It by Amy Beeder

Who would pick him over zebras
or the pig, sun-yellow with a racy grin?
Green-saddled & set between a white steed

crowned with roses and the lover's bench,
the rooster with one scaled foot drawn up
looks at first like crockery, eye bright

but dead flat, feathers a bric-a-brac insult.
The others seem copied at least
from something inspired: the ram's ham

scrotum & the mermaid flecked
with beaten froth; each prancing horse alive
in plastic, alive with tendons, cruel nostril, knee—

all pulling hard against the halter.
The cock's the only one not poised to move;
puppet out of Kansas with a sulfur gaze,

profile watching for locust.
Even under tiny lights that wink like stars,
or deafened by the organ's crash, no child

will choose it; up close coarse-skinned as you'd think:
red feathers flame on a dark tail's landscape,
some war fire set on a massacre hill. •

Amy Beeder teaches poetry at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Recent work can be found, or is forthcoming, in Poetry, Witness, American Letters & Commentary, and Prairie Schooner.

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