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The Kingdom of Speculation

Eggs coddled or poached are the food
of choice in the Kingdom of Speculation

for eggs are exceedingly rare and stored
in brooders. Brooders are guarded by men

who sport checkered vests and twirl
batons. To steal an egg is to be beaten

to death and the graves of thieves
are stacked like dominoes at the edge

of town. The rich feast on eggs
while the poor eat dumplings which look

like eggs but sink in the belly. Chickens
are revered, the most popular tunes

being hymns composed in their honor.
In this Kingdom only the weather is fair

and the air holds the scent of cardamom.
Overhead birds fly ignored, singing

an ostinato: what if, what if, what if.

-Barbara Goldberg (Beltway Poetry Quarterly)