A gang of turkeys has settled in the yard.
They’re disagreeable, eating my new grass seed.
Ugh the big unbalanced
bodies and skinny necks with wattles, caruncles, snoods.
Spurred shanks and awful twisting feet. Now a limping jenny
goes fancy-footing by, as if across parade grounds
where wonders may appear, the majesty
of every ugly thing
turning beautiful, the way
anything loved will be, which reminds me
of this woman with whom
I’m having a feud—she doesn’t know it
of course, and must not think about me
at all, or if she does it’s with a slight
dismissive snort, because I should really
know my place—this morning in the mirror
a mote in my eye
I was trying to remove
and I thought: definitely, her faults
I grow painfully aware
amount to a speck compared
to those same mountains in me,
so I’ve lately grown obsessed
with physics: force and action, spooky action
at a distance, and love. Always
love. You can’t see it
but what it makes you do is real.
Leslie Williams’ most recent book is Even the Dark, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Image, and elsewhere. She lives near Boston.
by Leslie Williams
Honorable Mention, Ruth Stone Poetry Prize