A Quail Hymeneal
The couple in the painting
present for the brush
a formal wedding portrait,
quiet, unmoving, feathered Arnolfinis,
Jan van Eyck meets Audubon –
poised and proper for posterity.
Meanwhile, just out of the frame,
meddling relatives fuss and fume,
caterers lay out food and drink,
musicians set up, tune up,
chicks play hide-n-seek
beneath overhanging tablecloths -
losing patience, the rest of the guests
fidget waiting for the arrival
of the day’s celebrated ones.
In my yard such formality
is lacking, quail scratch at
the ground, stay alert for feral cats,
scatter at the casting of shadows
always ready for the short flight
to cover beneath the blackberries,
casually grazing in the sunlight,
in an overcast glaze of mist.
Mama hen trailing offspring
like a long wedding dress train.
M.J. Arcangelini, born 1952 in western Pennsylvania, has resided in northern California since 1979. He began writing poetry at 11. He has published in a lot of little magazines, online journals, & 9 anthologies. He is the author of two poetry collections: With Fingers at the Tips of My Words, 2002, Beautiful Dreamer Press, and Room Enough, 2016, NightBallet Press. He maintains an occasional blog of poetry and prose at https://joearky.wordpress.com/
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