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Landscape with Turkey on the Hill

by Thomas Johnson

The ailing Ford pulled down
To its naked comforts:
Plaid seat
On bucked porchboards, hulk nosed
Uphill, gazebo
For a touch-and-go posse
Of crows.

And the “in-gine” wallowing
Near the dung midden,
Pistons dull
As these elbows
Holding up a young girl’s chin,
Bare-bellied there
In elm shade,
Bad novel hot off
The bookmobile
Before her,

So engrossed
She won’t notice
The dark coming on, and what’s evening
Anyway when
You’re a mudhen thick
In a saccharine plot,

Book lit by the
Red glow
Of a turkey’s wattle
On the hill,

The pages turning themselves
In the breeze
Of how she sees herself
Now in the D.A.’s arms,
The Ford spit-polished and idling
At the gate,
Every worn-bait can
In the country
Tied with pink ribbon to the back bumper.


Thomas Johnson’s most recent volume is Ground Zero from West Coast Poetry Review Press. He is working on an MFA at Cornell. (Spring 1975)

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