Any swan could put his wings around your neck;
hold you down against the river while he honks and flies.
If you're lucky, the baby will be a demi-god or soldier.
If you're unlucky the baby will become an old woman.
Some wolves eat grandmothers. Some girl wears the canines' favorite
color, hands them napkins and finger food at dinner parties, trains to be a lady while her father watches. These homes
were built over landfills of poisoned fruit and tainted needles.
The witch at the corner spends too much time talking
to mirrors and not enough time looking for a man. Her sister eyes children strangely, dreams about overweight ones
for breakfast with grits and bacon. On a cicada,
there was a greasy palm and a broken fly swatter.
Deep within a kitchen cabinet someone hid a box. When it opened, all the handwritten papers drowned
in soapy dishwater. Only the recipe for cornbread survived.
* * *
Ekoko Omadeke's poem reprinted with the permission
of the author. All Rights Reserved.