Use | Paulann Petersen



A bird's beak. Recurved,
decurved, serrate, hooked. 
Each to its purpose.
Dark, pale, honeyed, dun,
of use. Stabbing, probing, it keeps
its size, its shape, by balancing
constant growth and constant use.
A small and honed proof.

Onward it grows, fed by a heart's
swift little engine that's fed by
what the beak can dislodge.
Outward—against grit or bark—
it wears away as much of itself
as it adds. The use of use: to keep
a beak as beak, exactly.
Worn to perfection.

                                 —Paulann Petersen


The Bellingham Review, Spring 2010
The Voluptuary, Lost Horse Press, 2010


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