White Peacocks

Because the white peacocks
on Lodgepole Drive
sit in wire cages next to the stables
I compare their bodies
to lotuses that grow in the mud,
or to a matchhead
lit in the darkness.

It wasn’t always that way:
for months we could barely pick them out
among the cream-colored tails
of the miniature horses
and only knew they were there
because a sign on a fencepost
said “adult peacocks for sale”.

But now,
even on bright Sundays,
they sputter against the mud
like welders’ sparks
and I lie awake, seeing them
draped on our damp cedar railing,
the burden of their beauty
like a hole
punched in the sky.