portion of the artwork for Ivy Grimes' poem

The Duck Daughter
Ivy Grimes

The duck emerges and shakes its feathers, and the drops of water
on the grass bulge into cranberries.
Gather the cranberries and the duck.

You don’t have to wash the cranberries—they’re born
clean, and you don’t have to feed the duck, the duck was born
knowing how to eat. What could a duck teach your daughter?

You sew the feathers into a purse, make a clasp from the beak.
You don’t eat the meat, but you eat the cranberries.
You don’t eat the meat, but you bury the body.
You mark the grave, you light candles there.

The duck has a daughter. The daughter is a human girl
who wears a coat and hood of feathers.
Within the feathers is the flesh.
Inside the flesh is the heart.
In the heart is the cranberry—
which is curtained by thick red feathers,
which is occupied by several seeds,
which, if the duck could reach it,
it would eat.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 52 | Fall/Winter 2018