Scavenger; a poem by J. Ouriour ( WCM, issue# 6)


Today’s word is scavenger
The teacher threw the brain storming word
I looked around
I saw an old frame
on the classroom bleak austere wall;
A bird-like silhouette
A black, red, orange, or yellow beak
Colored marble eyes
Smooth nape and crown
“ scavenger bird,” I shouted
Without bothering to raise my hand,
They feast on bodies,
they spot their weakness from miles high
sense their agony
hover as long as the smell of death is in the air
they start with the juicy part; the guts.
they pull the intestines with their crooked sharp beak
and poke and poke into them
then poke through them to get to better and more savory juices
I remember I was approached by one in a hospital
he asked me permission to harvest my organs
I was scared for I did not know I was dead;
I did not know what to say:
“ my mom is in the lavatory,” I answered.
I browsed through the T.V channels once home;
CSI’s doc was cutting through a dead body;
he started with guts first,
then skinned the head off.
all dead bodies look ugly and have the same color when skinned off.
“Brains are sexy,” said a poet.
“ that is why we exhibit them in the science museums,” I thought.
“yes, “ said the teacher.
“ very good, scavenger birds,”
she added singing her appraisal.
“Storm petrels,” shouted another nerd
Who was afraid to lose the A-forefronts
they are fisher birds, I thought.
They scavenge fish, worms and other stuff,
They walk on the water
Jesus walked on water
He must have been very light
St. Peter was also said to have walked on water,
His faith was not strong enough
St. Peter nearly rhymes with petrels,
“ Saint Peter Petreled, can I say that?” I nearly yelled but refrained;
No, he didn’t dive;
He could have, had his faith waivered further.
Wouldn’t have that been better?
I float on the water; a piece of wood or cork;
Just like Moses; he was scavenged out of the waters.
What would have St.Peter scavenged on, had he dived?
Fish, I answered.
He was a fisherman after all.
He could have gotten some seaweed and salt and cured blisters.
Jesus would Have evaded an early crucifix;
History would have scavenged on a novel ‘God’s Lamb.’
Scrambling history’s linearity
And reframing it haphazardly structured in a multidimensional collage, is scavenging for the truth or finding.
St.Peter was doomed by his own name
When a rock hits the bottom it does not surface;
A rock in a pond;
Fuzzy slimy green and slippery;
A diver stumbles on the rock
A light shone in his head
A star fish popped a bubble
The scavenger man caressed the rock while air bubble fizzed;
And resurfaced with the rock in hand;
“ A child is a scavenger,” shrieked a nerdish girl nasally through the big glasses frame.
“A scavenger?” asked the teacher in an inciting tone
“ I scavenge, through our house and grandma’s looking for cookies,
I also scavenge landfills, “she added in a guilty voice.
“I look for dolls, broken dolls and other broken toys
And Blank shiny Christmas cards;”
“immigrants, scavenge!”
“ immigrants?;” awkwardly commented the teacher.
“ homeless people,” came a hoot from the back
“ Chinese,” yelled another student
“ Oh, Chinese!” frowned missy.
“you scavenger!” yelled a kid with an Asian complexion.
“now, now,” said missy with a commanding but calming voice
“ Let’s open the books to page sixty
“ and read silently about petrels! The scavenging birds!”

Written by Jamila Ouriour


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