Have you seen my blue-eyed goose? He asks.
He keeps one among the regular geese
in the grain room of his grandfather’s barn,
where they honk like broken trumpets as we approach.
There are six, though you can’t count these beaks, wings, crooked necks,
all crushed in a corner, bleating.
He enters, while I abstain behind the chicken wire door.
He yokes his arms around a goose, and separates her.
They quiet—a brash hush.
I see what he wants to show me:
how he exhibits the one whose pupil
is encompassed with the color of a rare, pale jewel.
Blue as the atomic scientist’s iris,
as any clear sky, fall morning.
Adrenalin sluices our blue veins.
Are you nervous? He asks, carefully.
I don’t say I’m afraid
any god is a bomb.
Julia Shipley is the author of The Academy of Hay (Bona Fide Books, 2015) and Adam’s Mark (Plowboy Press, 2015) as well as some chapbooks: One Ton Crumb, First Do No Harm, Planet Jr. and Herd. Her work can also be found in 5 x 5, Barnstorm, Barrelhouse, Burnside Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, North American Review, Poet Lore, Poetry, Prairie Schooner (online) and terrain.org. She lives on a homestead in the boondocks of Northern Vermont. Her website is www.writingonthefarm.com