Portrait of a Pig as a Bird

Jenny George

Small, bitten wings ornament the head.

Song whistles from the nostrils:
Breathing in is thrushes, breathing out is cranes.
The eyes are black seeds.
There is a crooked delicacy in the legs.

The pig is a bird of mud.
It nests in wallows and beds of muck,
brooding for open sky.

Flocks of wild pigs migrating
across fields of goldenrod
used to bruise the land each September.
Early explorers wrote in their diaries
of a flush of pigs darkening the hills, pigs
as far as the eye could see.
You can jab your prod in any direction
and get one.

An enclosed pig gives us cagey looks.
Something flightless is cramped in its heart.