Sophronia and the wild turkey.
We keep no chickens: my mother fear that they will fly against the windows the way they fly against the windshields of cars that graze the highway shoulder. So there is no need for a rooster--the dark rainbowed feathers of oil on water--or time, its announcement cleared from the throat of a rooster. . . .
The Sophronia comes walking down the road from her house to ours, sometimes one way, sometimes the other, past the japonicas with a turkey that follows her from the wild, and my grandmother is alive for the occasion, the two of them sitting under the morning glories, open like a showroom of Victrolas. Dance, Tom Turkey, dance, and the turkey struts in the dust while the rocking chairs sail onward, and my grandfather is killed in an explosion, rocketing into the universe ahead of his time, and my father tells my mother that the wild turkey is a stupid bird, the chicks drowning in the rainfall from looking upward, and that Sophronia will be happy her days in a house papered with Sunday papers, where the Katzenjammer kids have at it, and someone on the wall by the stove smiles as he offers her a Lucky Strike.