Gordon Coonfield

The Avocado and the Magpie

A day can be a long time when you are
God, fashioning pieces of the earth
like a puzzle that must rhyme; like a clock's
gears, each movement precise, each intricate cog
and space a pause falling into place. Like so many

things, the avocado began sweetly, its yellow-green
flesh hung, a firm whisper atop a modest hill, and for
a time it seemed to be perfect, hanging there like
an iconograph. But whispers on
moonless nights can seem so forlorn, so God

fashioned a Magpie to praise the avocado, perfectly
white, eyes gleaming above a black beak, and with
a song low like the thrumming after thunder, soft
as a breeze through tall grass. The magpie sang
its song, looking with longing at the yellow-green

flesh fashioned for worship, hating its own black
beak and eyes, and beneath a moonless sky
blackness plunged with passion into the tender
sloping neck. Deep within the avocado, a heart
pumped a blood like all the black-greens of forest

nights, staining the hill, grass, leaves of
the tree, the pure white wings and tail, so that
the magpie squawked, shocked, and has never
stopped, and the night, too, can be very
long when you are God.

Copyright 1996, Gordon Coonfield

Gordon Coonfield is an undergraduate at Central Washington University, studying
English literature, minoring in creative writing, majoring in fatherhood, and learning
how to be a husband on the side.