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June 29, 2022

Duck Poem

Lucas Mann

I wanna get a tattoo of Tony Soprano

and the ducks in the pool

and that look on his face

and that motion of their wings

and the sense that time is moving too quick

and my bodyhusk is calcifying

while my soul remains a wounded little boy

which is too embarrassing to articulate

without the security blanket of the reference

and the implication that I might

be joking.


Up close, the stripes on a mallard

are a shade too bright, like those colorized

versions of old black and whites that only

make the past seem more distant.

Before they land, the water trembles

with anticipation. Then they plop down

and forget. It’s the combo

of commonness and majesty.

Why spend any minute of your one

precious life looking for an egret?


I swear

this isn’t a metaphor.

They’re just the most beautiful things —

catch your breath on their beauty

every day; they’re too dumb to hide.

Every day, until they’re gone.

Gone, and you forget how to describe them —

ducklike? Remember Tony’s face

by the empty pool? It feels something

like that.