The finch was draped like Dali’s clock, its head flung over the feeder’s lip and strange. Odd place to die, bathed in sunflower seeds. Not yet stiff, the body looked like a model who’d flung herself at the most uncomfortable settee, arm thrown at some impossible angle, defiantly nude, a figure of abandon on rough fabric. But for its downy neck, the bird was flecked with crimson as if the artist had lost her nerve last minute. The beak gave the death away, cocked sky-ward on one side and the other down and twisted in a weird Picasso smile, and the bird’s feet up like a cartoon character that falls after a dramatic twirl, all comedy but for the lolling head. Did a hawk drop with such force as to turn the beak, break the neck, then fly startled from its kill? What is this male habitus? This tableau, this deadly art, this malady.
Elinor Ann Walker
Editor's note: The poet references several artists and styles in this prose poem but the piece is not based on a specific painting. We chose this still life to show with her poem, but it was not the inspiration for the work.
Elinor Ann Walker holds a Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill and is an adjunct professor at University of Maryland Global Campus. Ann’s work appears or is forthcoming in perhappened mag, Mezzo Cammin, Better Than Starbucks, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Whale Road Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and Black Bough Poetry, among others, and in several anthologies. She lives with her husband and three dogs, is the mother of two college-aged sons, and does her best writing outside. Her website is https://elinorannwalker.com
The Ekphrastic Review
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