Staring at a Dead Bird in a Wendy’s Parking Lot by Stephanie Bryant Anderson

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Staring at a Dead Bird in a Wendy’s Parking Lot

I stood over it in the parking lot—deafened
at the dead bird whose wings shriveled

and tore like a thick cord of tobacco. 
The eyes squeezed plum juice—rotten

fruit trapping the soul from coming or going,
though the brain so easily stopped.

The bird could do nothing. The neck, broken,
craned as if looking for someone it didn’t want to miss.  

I recalled the night in the living room, when 
my grandmother got out of bed

after taking her Ambien. She smiled sweetly
while watching The Miss America Pageant with us.

She went back to her room. She grabbed a hand mirror.
Walking back in, she stared at her ass.

See, I am just as beautiful as they are—
I’ve still got it, girls!

Then dropping her nightgown to the ground, posed
as a nude contestant, her pubic hairs, wiry, shaped

like the dead bird—its legs up and frozen—
the sounds from the TV wild with laughter.


Stephanie Bryant Anderson

Stephanie Bryant Anderson is the founder of Red Paint Hill Publishing, and is mother to two amazing boys. She is an English major at Austin Peay State University. Most recent publications are forthcoming in Vinyl Poetry and the Two of Cups Press upcoming moon themed anthology. Besides poetry she enjoys kickboxing and math. Her poetry collection, Monozygotic | Codependent, is available from The Blue Hour Press.