Thursday, November 16, 2017

American Pied-Billed Dabchick (Audubon), Sonnet #379

I once wrote a child’s fairy tale
About birds that didn’t have feet.
Because they could not rest on land
They beat the wind into a gale
Which they coasted, a sleeping fleet,
Coaxing rain from the clouds they’d fanned.
The dabchick can’t fly from firm ground.
Landing on concrete he mistakes
For water, he is trapped, earth bound.
His legs drag behind like branches.
He can rise triumphant from lakes,
Rivers and ponds — when he launches
From the earth, he only stumbles.
So nature exalts and humbles.