It has strong legs and sturdy wings,
and for them both has need;
although the legs grow weak with age
and will get cut and bleed.
Two wings, then, of the standard sort:
half butterfly, half bat;
quite useful when it just must dash,
or fuel a lively chat.
The hands, or claws, if you prefer,
its clutching, pinching tools:
for picking nits, and wiping shits
and scratching eyes from fools.
The torso? Lean, but runs to fat
toward its middle age –
especially when fed on crow
and left in a small cage.
The eyes, both pairs, are large and round.
One tends to humanize
their often sad, pathetic looks
when coupled with their cries.
And yes, the voice, the squawk, the squeal:
like metal on a plate;
a symphony for sadists
it’s hard to appreciate.
The whole, in sum, is quite a feat
of luck in blind design;
that this poor thing survives at all
is in a word, sublime.
15 NOV 2010