McMillan & Wife

McMillan & Wife
by Sarah Marshall
Blue-eyed boy comes down one morning
rusted-out rambler
and says he wants a carful of peacocks.
says, You make em, don’t you?  Well
       that’s what I want—a carful.
       So’s I’ll turn the radio on and the birdies upfront’ll
       hear the song’s playin and
       teach it row by row
       to the ones in back.
       Want em up against the windows
       so everyone on the highway can see
       and all the way home.
Stand there in your housecoat, the pink one,
and watch
as the little gray chicks run around your legs—
babes yet and no bigger than bingo balls.
He called you out from the TV, out from McMillan & Wife
and wanted to see if a bar you remembered—red drapes and red velvet wallpaper
       and a bartender your husband talked to for 2 hours about Korea—
was there.
In the background, maybe, or even
out the window of a car.
You don’t ask for much.
Now, boy hunches, picks up a biddy,
pulls it to his chest and stands again.
Give you a hundred bucks, he says.
Whatever that gets me, I’ll take.
       Says he wants em runnin around
       when the ceremony’s over
       and everybody’s out on the lawn
       eating onion sandwiches and cake.
says We’ll keep em as guard dogs, I guess.
Shit, he says,
       but he smiles, and his teeth are
You take a hundred dollars.
He takes nine birds
And a bag of seed thrown into the trunk
       for free.

0 thoughts on “McMillan & Wife

  1. Stinkin´ lazy loud birds.
    Hate´m more than I know.
    We send the kid out after them.
    We tell him if he can pluck one feather from their over-plumed asses, we´ll give him 20 dollars.
    I appreciate your poem and how it demonstrates the uselessness and ridiculousness of this foul species. I got a kick out of it.

  2. Can feel being there. Summer heat, drought, chewing on a toothpick. That James Dean look, jeans and T-shirt, beating the dust off his hat. Kind of a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof meets Charles Bukowski, without the drinking and anger.

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