Like flamingos run to fat and dimly dumb,
or commas on their sides, with little feet,
I watched the dodos dodder down our street,
an awkward sign the end of times has come:
or was it all a dream? They seemed to smile –
their smiles were fixed in place; they fit right in,
for cul-de-sacs are something like an isle,
the way a stubby wing is like a fin,
the way a television’s like an eye,
or suburbs are like towns, or clocks like time,
or dodos are like angels waddling by,
or Liberty’s the backside of a dime.
With no more thought than we they built their nests
as dogs and cats prepared a proper greeting
for those who quailed at questioning, and quests,
and dully viewed their doom from comfy seating.
Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Angle, The Flea, Light, Per Contra and Shot Glass Journal, among other places. He is working on a bestiary.