The Age of Exploration
began in the second term
of the Eisenhower Administration
when our dentist discovered Tahiti,
the Millers went on safari, and I circled
the globe spinning under my finger
at the Warder Park Public Library.
I studied the world as best I could
in a middling midwestern town by curating
a collection of objects lovely but odd:
a stuffed parrot from a secondhand shop,
sparkly stones from Saint Raphael’s lot,
snowdomes and stamps from exotic spots,
agates and cats eyes from a five and dime,
acorns and buckeyes from Roosevelt Drive,
cicada shells and butterfly wings
and lots of other odd-lovely things.
National Geographic soon sent me south
to the hot zones (Sumatra, Sumba, Gabon)
to survey states of indigenous undress
and map the contours of the opposite sex.
Like Cortez, I pillaged and stole, clipped
gold doubloons from the Caribbean,
Elgin Marbles from the British Museum,
hammered gold from the Taj Mahal,
hung all my loot on my bedroom wall.
Oh, it was a large and wondrous room
where I nested, dreamed and became
the insufferable stuffed bird that I am.
Daniel Coyle recently retired from a career as a harmless drudge in the information industry. He lives in Washington DC. His poems have appeared in the Wallace Stevens Journal, Arkansas Review, Fortnightly Review, Blue Unicorn.
The Ekphrastic Review
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