Spring 1986, Volume 3

Bob Greger

At the University of Miami.
There's a student center pond.
White ducks tread their weak ones
Underneath the lake.
Three went surfing on a broken legged drake.

He made it to the bank.
I caught him in the brush.
Cradling his fighting wings beneath my arm.
I took him to the bird lab
Where a famous ornithologist's out to lunch.

His assistant said, "That leg is broke for good.
Your choices are, return the bird,
Or we could put him in a cardboard drum
With carbon tetrachloride.
Some few drops in a rag will kill."

The drake kicked with the might he fought his peers.
"On second thought," I spoke, "I'll take him back."
"You can't now . . . liver's poisoned . . .
The Kicking died away.

I took the bird home,
Plucked it in the sink and gave it to the maid.
Not quite the humanitarian act
I planned, I said.