13.4 (Summer 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFMake a bookArchives2River

Carolyn Foster Segal

Fitcher's Bird: A Love Story

I knew
what my task would be. All
those hours when
my sisters and I
stayed up late,
telling stories, debating
free will, my costume
was there, in the back
of the closet. I knew
it would be up to me: it's
always the third one. (The first
one has the benefit of shock, the
first turn of the plot; the
second one, poor girl, gets at best
a sentence, something along
the lines of "and then the same thing
happened to her.") And that's my
cue; it's my turn to step out
from where I've been waiting.
I have only
minutes to woo and undo
the king, to find
the pieces of my sisters
and put them back
together again. Then it's
time to dress, in honey —
absurd, yes, but wonderful
for the skin — and feathers —
and time to lure
the unsuspecting ones (who never
read, who never learn their lesson)
to their fiery death. And the egg,
you say, what about the egg? I'm certain
this story has one. In fact — what did we just
learn? — it has three, and I've one up my sleeve —
here, take it, it's barely bloodied,
and you must be hungry after
all this.

Carolyn Foster Segal teaches at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She writes humorous
essays for education publications; her most recent scholarly work focuses on trauma narratives.
This is her second appearance in 2River. contact