A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All Things Being Equal (2)

In the Museum of Natural History
Anubis weighed the boy-king’s heart
against a yellow feather; the boy-king,
clutching Big Bird’s shaggy wing
had known too much of modern life—
what royal child could ever keep
his upward-floating, mystic pride
in the face of the jostling democracy
of the Children’s Television Workshop?
Monsters arm in arm with grocers;
everyone giddily learning
every possible human language;
meanwhile the halls of the museum
rang with the voices of mothers
who listed to their bored, sashaying daughters
the death of every monster, god, and king.
The boy-king’s heart was heavy
and the scale fell. But Big Bird,
through some legal sleight-of-wing,
proved definitively the feather had been false,
and, lowering his head into his breast
watched sidelong as the little king
achieved the sky. The feather,
with no heart to countervail its weight,
sank, and the monsters continued their democracy,
and the mothers heartlessly
went on talking.

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