Mynah Bird Pie

When the pie was opened the birds began to sing.

Childhood was a mynah bird pie
a pucker of salted crust mother
only half-cooked, bones and singing
and all, so the story-meat is raw

and runs with blood. Let me wedge you
an hour of that mush, dish a few
spoiled spoons of tropic afternoon:

The beaks of the mynahs stuck
like yellow toenails from the salt
rubble. The greased wings bubbled

in their cups of chirp and broth.
My father could froth, oh yes,
he could. His drunks chopped us.

Mother, my baker, could not spice him.
Have you ever heard twenty mynah birds
singing in a bloody half-baked pie?

That’s how siren his midnight
warble was—it was a ton of din,
a talon of roar. Now he’s a mist,

a measuring cup of nowhere.
He’s a ghost in the trees,
a stagger, a blip—

a half-teaspoon of sugarless

Susan Kelly-DeWitt | Mudlark No. 33
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