11 March 2012

736 Ducks


126 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
I imagine migration can be tiring - your normally hollow bones                                slowly filling with leaden fatigue
as hours on the wing rush by;
we've all been in that situation.

258 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
I pulled over to watch after the third mallard's
    explosive impact;
feathers everywhere.
It was an honest mistake they made in their group suicide,
      I briefly made the same
as I crested the hill that is now their downy grave.

301 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
Sun glinting on the shining-clean cars awaiting sale,
                 a sea of glass and chrome
too suddenly an entire dealership in need of windshield
      and dent repair,
but also flush in down and pâté and chaos --
         if that's your thing.

437 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
Surely their leader was relieved to've sighted what he thought
          to be a body of water (at last).
A cool spot to rest and maybe some duck weed for their
      empty stomachs; heavy lies the mallard crown.
Did he too late realize his error as he hurtled into the
 windshield of that Dodge like his cousin chicken at
Space Shuttle glass, or go to his final reward unaware,
     as so many of us do?

560 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
Did the second curse his leader in Donald Duck-like frustration
 as he too careened feet-first into an unsuspecting Chevy?
(It was a used-car lot, you see, all kinds welcome)
Or maybe not, but we've all been in that situation.

615 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
The remaining number of the badelynge bombarded the Buicks,
   Chevys, Fords, Nissans, and Kias mercilessly, cluelessly.
I knew for one oddly wet moment what it was like to be
     Francis Scott Key
 as feathery cannonball rained down
 on those decreasingly shiny automobiles,
    now not-so-gently used.
Just like Fort McHenry our Nation's Flag flew proudly
      over the scene,
       my co-witness to the crash-landing of that team of ducks.        Fatally.
     Into that car dealership.

735 ducks died today;
I counted - I was there.
That flag is still there, too, flying easily in the wind
 just as those ducks aren't.
The fading sun sets the red white and blue aglow,
  and the magic hour falls on that used car lot,
     as did 736 ducks, just hours ago.

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