Return of the Feathered Octopus

Glen Armstrong

She’ll be coming around more often.
          She will blast through
          the mountain.

She was away learning that night’s
          ever-pending arrival
          was at once a perpetually

          receding destination.
          (It was all very Zen.)

She’ll be catching us in our underwear.

Her six white horses will take turns
          gesturing with their skulls,
          their majestic jaws like
          the bows of ships.

That young couple with the dreads
          and foul-mouthed toddler

          will spread the word
          and organize a potluck.

Once, the forged iron ring framed
          an absence over which
          we’d never quite recover,

          and the worn patch on the lawn
          led to another worn patch
          of lawn and so on.

There will still be temptations
          and paths leading
          into the woods,

          but for a little while
          we will listen
          to her crimson songs
          and feel blessed,

          to be part of something
          bigger than ourselves.

We will forgive the blacksmith’s daughter
          for showing up
          in a miniskirt,

          homemade tentacles
          sewn to her tight sweater,
          feathers woven
          into her long dark hair,

          for drinking too many
          wine coolers

          and calling her boyfriend
          on her cellphone
          in the middle of the event

          to complain that,
this feathered octopus person

          is not as I expected
          her to be.

GLEN ARMSTRONG holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters.

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