Monday, March 7, 2022

You Can’t Plan These Things

He got it into his head
A good way to end would be
To step off a rocky ledge.

To look like an accident,
He thought he’d pretend to be
Out birdwatching. Step back—whoops!

He slung some binoculars
Around his neck for effect
And sent a couple of texts

To friends, seeming excited
At having spotted something
Exotic, almost extinct,

In any case rarely seen.
He positioned himself, back
To the abyss, and looked up

So that the last thing he saw
Would be the violet sky
And crescent moon receding.

With his neck craned, he panicked
And stood, a statue, minutes
Until he gave up and left.

Years and years later, he passed
Right by that spot on the ledge
While out for a pleasant drive,

And a giant, extinct bird,
Nearly extinct at least, rare,
And almost never witnessed,

Swooped low in front of his car,
Then plunged down over the ledge,
And he knew in an instant

He’d never tell anyone
He’d seen the actual bird
He’d once pretended to death.

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