In harmony with the rule of irony—
which requires that we harbor the enemy
on this side of the barricade—the shell
of the unborn eagle or pelican, which is made
to give protection till the great beaks can harden,
is the first thing to take up poison.
The mineral case is soft and gibbous
as the moon in a lake—an elastic,
rubbery, nightmare water that won't break.
Elsewhere, also, I see the mockeries of struggle,
a softness over people.
Kay Ryan, “Soft” from Flamingo Watching. Copyright © 1994 by Kay Ryan. Used by permission of Copper Beech Press <copperbeechpress.com>.
Source: Flamingo Watching
(Copper Beech Press, 1994)
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