Impromptu Afternoon Funeral for a Merle

This bird’s Chapter One has ended.
Fake epic, abbreviated,
bird’s body in the unkempt grass.
Mallard tries to stare me down.
He wins. I win. We draw.
Across the canal, grey cat watches red.
A mower’s motor irritates.
The flowing water’s shades of green
float first fall leaves past us,
mallards, cats duck, me,
and the body of the bird.

The first boat has a rusted rudder.
The second has new, blue covers.
The coot that is silent
swims towards me, and dives.
She surfaces, eating weed.
To whom was this merle’s epic real?
Warmth and mites address the corpse:
its feathers, skin and song.
A mallard splurges wake.
Birds so loud they hurt my ears
contest the chestnut’s branches.

The sander quiets us all,
doing honest maintenance work.
Four more mallards paddle by.
The dead merle’s feathers stay still
while wind ruffles the red cat
as it stares down a floating feather.
What can be stayed, after execution?
I watch the red cat watching water.
Tall weeds dip purple flowers.
Shadows lengthen long enough
to cover more than the merle.

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