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“Territory Claims” Appears in The Abstract Quill—Spring 2013

March 31, 2013
"Territory Claims" © Mike Marshall

“Territory Claims” © Mike Marshall

About a year ago, I thought a goose had challenged my manhood. It blocked our building’s entrance, jabbing at residents. In a wing-spanned cackle, the goose stood its ground, and I did too, because to choose a side door was to announce my own weakness. 

For six straight days I ran right past it—past them—since I would notice there were two. At times, I squeezed a bicycle horn, carried bread crumbs in my pocket; when the neighbors cupped their hands, shouting, “They bite, they can bite!” I unfurled an umbrella shaft to show them I had wings too.

One night I came home from work and the goose was gone. A man in our building had lit up seven firecrackers to scare it away; still the goose barely moved.

"South for the Parallel" © Mike Marshall

“South for the Parallel” © Mike Marshall

“That wild-eyed gander didn’t give two shits about the sparks, explosions, not even sanctions—so we went for the eggs!the man said.

I hadn’t known about the three little eggs.

When I asked my wife later, she said that the sound of the crack made the gander go wild—that it ran headfirst, into traffic’s crowded street where Erie had been driving. Where three little girls saw a gander one morning. With nothing to lose.

In these battles for position and space, how many of us strut inside words just to simulate wings?

Current Issue The Abstract Quill

Image © Cydney Craft

Publication Notes: The poem “Territory Claims” appears in The Abstract Quill—Spring (April) 2013. Special thanks to the journal’s editor, Lindsay Dubler, for taking a second read and spotting 38th Street. Parallel thanks go to Peter Krass, for encouraging this companion preamble (“A short story on its own.”). Finally, a shout out to the brilliant photographer Mike Marshall, who had a really tough two weeks: your vision, my friend, is the spark.

  1. Quiet, potent parables. Well done.

  2. vivipix permalink

    Wonderful, congrats, you wow you! Doris Vila Licht 191 Park Place Brooklyn, NY 11238 Phone/fax: 718.388.6533

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