At the corner of our fenced yard
a tom fans his feathers, drops
first one barred wing, then the other,
sashays before our shed, a blue-faced
matador, red wattles swinging
as he taunts imagined rivals.
It is pure theater, and we, his only audience,
peer past the kitchen curtains, whispering,
enchanted by the mysteries of wild courtship.
Two hens, bored or unimpressed,
peck under the bird feeder
before sauntering away.
Engrossed in his performance, the tom
fails to notice their exit at first, then panics,
dashing back and forth along the pickets
unable to find the open gate —
deflated and frantic, a comic Casanova.
Sympathetic to his plight, knowing well
how miscommunication leads to heartache,
I stand on our deck, cheering encouragements
while you go to his aid waving arms
to herd him out, because even turkey love
deserves a second chance.
From Faith to See and Other Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2007)
Used with the author’s permission.