Duck Hunting


have courage. If you do not
you may back into a harvester
that cuts you into little strips
beyond recognition.

That will be ok. I will feed the earth
feel the smooth cold sides of the disk
come to turn me under dark spring soil.
I will feed the wheat and sway in the wind
and play among the locusts.

No. You will not. You will get stuck
and muck up the machinery.
They will come with plastic bags
and scoop you into them, carry you off,
over there beyond the pointless pond
where they will dump your pulpy remains
among the rushes.

you will feed the mud beneath your slime.
you will ooze among the willows and algae
your entrails will snake into the cloudy water
and drop bits of undigested food and fatty filaments
upon which fish will feed and ripples spread
from the long motion of their bodies whipped
back and forth to dislodge the meaty granulesí
torn bits from splinters of bone.

Then the ducks will come and suck
the thoughtless streams of jelly
that once remembered cloud billows
rising from the far side of the pond
like tossed confetti in a backward movie,
streaming together, moving that way, then this
until they would come as a body and settle
with an easy grace upon the placid surface
waiting for you, their sworn enemy,
to throw them pieces of yourself as you once
threw crusts of stale bread. Have courage.


There Was This Duck

There was this duck-man,
either he had ducks
or perhaps he quacked
like one, the words
didnít say, only that
he did or had,
but the name
stuck, until the day
a neighbor, fed up
with the early morning
clamor in the next yard
though, we suspect,
a small case of envy
might have played
its part, and part
duck-hunter, part dick
swagger Iíll wager,
waited, stalked
stewed & juiced
until the opportunity
quacked, as they say,
and wack! Off it came
neat as a slice
at the butcherís
poultry station,
with a shovel
we think, though
it didnít say either
way, but the envy
part lay around
for a few days;

"wasnít Lennon,"
he said, "but what
the duck. He just
wasnít fast enough
to outsmart this
old duck hunter.
Nope, gotta get
up pretty early
to do that. Pretty
early to fool
old Ed Wakefield."

Maybe there was
a certain logic to that,
but it missed us. Gladys,
(the other side-neighbor)
opinioned the Duck-man
might have done
a little better had
he gotten up later.
Said it was a shame.
She missed him now,
wished heíd been
a little faster. "Yes,"
she said, "I wish heíd
been just a little

Red Slider

If you've any comments about his poem, Red Slider would be pleased to hear from you.