The Wild Turkey

The difference between desire and longing came to me
in early May walking my daughter to school after seeing
a play the night before about a man who invents the universe.

On our walk, a wild turkey is hanging out in tall purple
garlic flower stalks in the neighbor’s yard and we take pictures,
walk away reluctantly but fast, knowing wild things can get wilder.

When I ask my daughter’s friend Julia to guess what we saw
she answers, “a wild turkey,” and tells us she has seen two
named Richard and Doorknob; so I know desire is a flawless

awareness of pleasures in and out of reach that we go wild for
in a universe where my daughter, purple garlic flowers, Julia and
the wild turkey will die, and longing is my desire for the impossible.


This poem also appears in Pretty Things Please, a collection of poems by Marjorie Thomsen.


About the Poet:  Marjorie Thomsen is the author of “Pretty Things Please” (Turning Point, 2016). Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice and she has received writing awards from the University of Iowa School of Social Work, the New England Poetry Club, and Poetica Magazine. She’s an instructor at Boston University’s School of Social Work and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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