Absolutes are always wrong
Shortcuts sometimes take too long
Bird banalities are song
I say ping and you think pong
And not the vaguely racist book
About a truant and a cook
And how he chose the blow he took
Nostalgia needs a second look
When I was very small I had a friend
Whom I called Ducky, which was apropos
Because he was. My sister would pretend
That he was just a toy; he wasn’t, though.
To prove to her that Ducky could, too, swim,
I filled the tub and Ducky spun around
In small, concentric circles. Jeering him,
My sister said, “If he’s alive, he’s drowned!”
You see, I used to hold him by the throat
And all his vertebrae were so relaxed
He couldn’t lift his head, so, like a boat
With one oar dipped, his way-making was taxed.
I swore he’d swum; my sister called me liar.
My mommy warmed up Ducky in the dryer.
If I’m tending bar
And a duck orders a drink
I’ll start him a tab
The ballerina had a duck
With whom she’d pas de deux at night
Behind her boyfriend’s pickup truck
Illuminated by the light,
Reflected in the bumper’s chrome,
From that benighted sign whose sight
Invited strangers to her home.
Once upon a time there was a dog
Who taught himself to type just like a duck.
He bought a website and began a blog
Where every post was just the one word: Cluck.
Of course the site went viral, and the pup
Became convinced that he was going to die.
He licked himself until his thing swelled up
And poked the keyboard, sticking on the “I”:
His website took the internet by storm
And people clicked! And since he wasn’t sick
He lived to see his ad stats smash the norm,
And all because he clicked instead of clucked.
Good thing that dogs can’t spell, or he’d be Click
Monopedal water fowl
Shedding wet without a towel
In the rain upon a wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all?
An albatross is not a duck.
The reason has to do with luck
And quantum physics: Cats can be
Two things at once, not you and me
Or waterfowl. (Don’t I know it,
Else I’d be rich and a poet!)
Waves of shame, regret and loss
Hang heavy on the albatross
That he (or she) a duck is not.
Like us, he must accept his lot
(As she must hers). The Wedding-Guest
Has time; let him explain the rest.