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Aoifa’s Curse

Aug. 14, 2011
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Walking across the bridge on Wisconsin Avenue,
metal trembling under each passing bus,
urban vibrations running up through my ankles, I watch two
Anserini alight upon the river, the water frozen and
cracked from the Paleolithic Winter, the kind
that makes one wonder what it would be like to jump
from the bridge onto the ice,  just to see if it would hold.
The geese tentatively cross the glacial freeze,
each footfall a ginger test, an echoing expression
of faith. Their aim, a lone bag of English Muffins, and
as they tear through the clear plastic with their teak beaks,
I wonder why the Children of Lir wept.
They, too, had been given wings,
pinions of purity rather than rebellion,
and lives far longer than any mortal has any right to expect.
Even the silver chains were a kindness, meant to
keep them close. The air blows in crisp off the ice,
and one of the geese ganders at me, the world
narrowing down to scattered crumbs and a
strangely intelligent eye. A seagull slides across
the dirtied ice, past a crumpled beer can and plastic wrapping.
He displays to me the gray of his breast and
the great span of his wings, and I know then that I would anger
a thousand stepmothers to spend 300 years on Moyle’s blue sea.

Corey Klinzing grew up in Stoughton Wisconsin, which might as well be Madison.  She has since migrated to Milwaukee, where she is an editor of Furrow, UWM's undergraduate literary magazine.


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