The Grebe

the grebe looks down at the parking lot
mistakes the rain-soaked grinder for a lake
he plummets near a Ford and busts his butt
a clumsy bird, I have to catch him quickly
lest he wander in the roadway and be crushed
I have to let him peck my fingers off
because the stupid fowl inspires my boss
who sees himself in this clown-streaked  fool
he can’t take off from the land, he says
you’re going to have to help him, he says
so now I’m driving this fear-fuzzled bird
in freezing rain to the nearest lake
I hold him tightly at the shore
this idiot, ugly, awkward bird
I throw him, hard, at the crizzling pond
screw you, I yell as he skips the surface
once, twice, like a stone then gone—
gone like a goddamned rocket
effortlessly slips through the air
to vanish in the eastern sky,
while here I stand shivering
with bloody fingers and muddy shoes

screw you, too, some god said somewhere

—Don Whittington

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