The ostrich feared the guillotine.
Flush against the ground she breathed her darkness
and her ribs cracked. She thought of the others,
how they heckled, how they bruised.
They were coming. She could feel it
on her body. It was how the wind moved,
how the earth shifted, the cool dirt
less like a belly today, less like a mother
with soft hands along her neck.
Now the bell tolled and her friends ran
heavy lidded through the valley, their hearts
impaled on posts in the yards behind them.
Their strong legs moved faster than trains,
their flightless wings beat
like drums for a head.
*Published in PMS poemmemoirstory; Number Ten/ 2010