Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Bill Gillard

Under the Triborough Bridge

in the tall grass
outside the chain link fence
in the shadow of the dimpled and
rusted gray legs whose drainage
like some great urinary track
rained down on the toilet as big as the city,
me and three friends
when we should have been in school
but instead roamed Ward's Island
the prime real estate at the end of the
LaGuardia runway and Hell's Gate and
Riker's Island and the Con Ed plant
and that rustling in the grass
what brave new thing
out here below that sign
Manhattan Psychiatric Prison
that hung akimbo across the
hole cut through the chain link
wide enough to drive through
wide enough for even the most obese among
the criminally insane
and that rustling--a chicken!
alive, tough as oil, New York City
chicken who didn't stand a chance
against the three of us
into a book bag
back to school
for a frantic flight through the
door of the teachers' lounge
and which side of that fence were we on anyway
that's what the chicken and the teachers
wanted to know

BIO:  "My name is Bill Gillard, and I teach creative writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin. My writing has appeared (or will shortly) in Writer's Chronicle, SNReview, Alimentum, Paradigm, Review Americana, Dark Sky, The Leading Edge, Slow Trains, The Literary Review, Poetry Bay, Surprising Stories, Spitball, Star Line, and Aphelion, among others. I am also the general editor of Fox Cry Review, a regional print literary magazine from the University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley."