top of page

9.81; Closing In On My Aloofness; Morals Murky As A Duck Pond by Richard LeDue


Gravity pulls on a feather as much

as a bowling ball, but other things

get in the way, slowing a feathery descent

like it's a tortoise racing a hare,

but the the moral of this story

is more scientific than ethical,

giving textbooks another chapter

junior high students pretend to read

while the teacher never truly explains

the gravitas of gravity

as a metaphor for how we all fall,

even if it takes a lifetime.

Closing In on my Aloofness

Used to enjoy wearing ties,

made me feel like someone

important, only to end up

another chafed neck among those

smart enough to apply sunscreen

on Saturdays, give advice

about house insurance, look up

at the sun on Sundays,

save “Jesus Christ”

for when they need to swear,

go for evening walks and greet

everyone who passes them by,

always get eight hours of sleep

each night because of the doctor

recommending it, but years later,

I hate ties, as they remind me

how even death expects us to dress formal.

Morals Murky as a Duck Pond

They say all that kindness behind fistfuls of bread

we fed the ducks years ago was a lie:

our conscience cleaned of bread crumbs

actually contributed to mallard diarrhea

or other fowl digestive problems,

but even now, we just reassure ourselves

how wings can't write a protest poem

against the stale bread the nearby corner store

sold for half price, and that if we want

guilt, we'll think of the Christmas turkey,

who you never looked in the eye,

although it never had a chance

to fly away.


bottom of page