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Died of molting in a cabin, cold and far from home.
Lightsome, loved always. The shock
was to his heart, to his Diana too, as she walked
into the room and found his stillness lying
on the hard pine floor, the autumn air emptied
of his treble trills, the world of all its magic.

She brought him home in a bakery box.
Kept him in the freezer where he tumbled out
when she searched for chicken, porkchops, ice cream.
Something soothing or a distraction from the suddenness
of her beloved saying late one night: We fight
too much, perhaps we should go our different ways.

Time then to commit Peterkins to the ground before it freezes.
So she wraps his feathered body in a linen shroud,
tucks him inside her leather jacket, dons
her helmet, drives her Harley into the woods
to bury him where the trees drop their leaves, unveiling
the tight-tipped buds of spring waiting in their budscale wombs.

Nancy Huggett is a settler descendant who writes, lives, and caregives in Ottawa, Canada, on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people. Thanks to Firefly Creative, Merritt Writers, and not-the-rodeo-poets, she has work out/forthcoming in Citron Review, The Forge, Literary Mama, One Art, Prairie Fire, and Waterwheel Review. 

© 2022, Nancy Huggett

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