Posts Tagged ‘Lisa J. Cihlar’

The Butcher Dressing Chickens

May 8, 2013 3 comments

by Lisa J. Cihlar

I know of a woman who raises free range chickens on her city lot. She butchers them with an enormous cleaver on an oak stump outside her kitchen door. Plucked black and white feathers fly across the yard or stick to her hands, bloody from pulling entrails. She sets aside the heart and liver. The gizzard, sliced open, releases driveway gravel. Half-digested grass smells good green after the singe stink of fine hairs.

Three calico cats and one orange tabby pace circles, waiting for a flick of wrist, sending yellow feet to be gnawed, bright red kidneys bolted. Her son, watching from the broken rail porch with a can of off-brand cola, teases her that she is teaching them to love the taste of chicken and soon they will be killers. This all happens on the south side of Chicago in a backyard near the Metro tracks. The first morning train brings her husband home from the late shift. He hunches silent over the wobbly Formica table eating reheated chicken and dumplings as the sun rises, red gold over calm Lake Michigan waters. The butcher is asleep with a feather in her hair.

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Lisa J. Cihlar’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in Blackbird, The South Dakota Review, Green Mountains Review, and Bluestem. Her chapbook The Insomniac’s House is available from Dancing Girl Press, and a second chapbook, This is How She Fails, is available from Crisis Chronicles Press.

Far From Any Ocean

June 2, 2008 8 comments

Come with me and I will make you
fishers of men. Something I would want to be.
Collect people and hang them
from a stringer, from the back of my boat.
I used to stand in a lake up north,
with my lover hugged up behind
teaching me to cast a fly.
Thick yellow line sings through the air,
light tippet touches down.
Below the surface,
walleye, trout, bass, large and small mouth,
look up through the waters.
I collect green bottle glass from along
shores of great lakes to look back at them.

by Lisa J. Cihlar

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