David Whalen (5/18/38 / Covington Kentucky)
Ode to Scraggleneck
Soda straw neck completely naked… Not a hint of feathers…
A few on her wings showing signs of better days
But still a perky attitude, among her young healthy brothers
She was kinda regal, in scraggly kinda ways
She had to hunker down a little further
than her young companions
To launch her skinny body into the air,
as if, like me, she felt a bit of the rheumatism
In the bird legs that I think we both shared
Had a certain panache in her syncopated strut
Guess she didn't even know that she was really old
She earned my admiration, even with that silly syncopation
…She still carried herself with a dignified air so bold…
a certain proud aplomb (if a pidgeon can possess demeanor)
I kinda' related to her and formed an unconscious bond.
Always looking for her amongst all the jostling others.
And feelin' deep anxiety… whenever she was gone
Her landings weren't quite the feats of grace of the others
But she retained her composure when she stumbled, all the same
It was several years back since she first showed up with her brothers
That plucky lil' pidgy sure was game
She first caught my eye with that scraggly neck and peckish attitude.
there was something in her stately manner
that captivated me more every day.
She slowly became an integral part of my daily life
Oft, when I was weak and feelin' bleak
'ol' Scraggleneck' would show me the way
There must have been a tacit agreement between her and my lazy-ass cat
Cause he never seemed to want to eat her, even when he could
He just watched, with a baleful look …seemed content with that.
She dropped in each day in her clumsy sort of way
And gobbled up her share of my lazy-ass cat's food
'Ol' Scraggleneck' has shown me
In her dogged, determined way
It's not how you'll spend eternity
…But how you live each day…
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