WINNING WORDS: To the Audubon Society

The ArtsEtc NIFCA winning Words Anthology 2015-2016


Put shit in your eye, right so
I’d like to stuff ’em;
sate my gypsy gullet. 
But bird’s brains are featherweight,
better plied as dusters to 
chase the dint of memory from Ma’s whatnots. 

They’re all right, when not dungin’ in your eye,
cool shirts, parked cars freshly polished.

I like them, then.

Raise my lazy periscope eyes, 
dingy camo binocs,
toward the wayward sky.

Greatest place to be a bird:
up in the air,
defying gravity,
If I had wings like a turbot, 
A super-sized turbot,
I’d be a kiss-me-ass angel
Marvel fiend,
cos I’m not playing hero 
with two wings, two feet…
a finite heartbeat.

I’m a born fowl.
My poaching bill, 
the annelid (a fresh, fat incher) dreads.
I’ll fork.
I fork. 
Beak-breaking work, 
the bird’s bashful grub burrowing 
—pit to pit—into final darkness.

Mark my will as a wily food source.

Doubt that I’ll fly today anywhere
with two right knees, clean elbows, seamless palms,
some spotless face.


TRINA HEADLEY (Bronze, 2015) is a writer, musician, academic, and educator. Her early days were spent roaming the St Thomas countryside with pet chickens Flopsy and Mopsy, but her poems often relate to the experience of Caribbean women. She credits poet Mark Jason Welch with inspiring her to write harder.