Summer Sighting, by Ed Higgins

I saw a very handsome mallard
standing outside the coffee shop

this morning. He looked like he was
waiting for someone. So I am sending him

your way. Nietzsche said one almost pleasant
thing: “The poet presents his thoughts

festively, on the carriage of rhythm.
Usually because they could not walk.”

Yet this duck walked steadily away,
the rich sheen of his stylish blue-green

shirt and baggy grey trousers a rhythm
billowing lightly in the wind.

Walking quite happily. Straight into
the last line of this poem.


About “Summer Sighting”: “The poem grew out of an email from a friend who had actually seen a mallard duck when she emerged from a book store: the lone male duck seemed quite a dignified, albeit amusing, sight paddling down the sidewalk outside the bookstore. Somehow the Nietzsche quote was running around in my mind and I connected the two.”

Ed Higgings’s poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals including: Monkeybicycle, Pindeldyboz, Dark Sky Magazine, Tattoo Highway, Word Riot, Foliate Oak, and Blue Print Review, among others. He lives on a small farm in Yamhill, OR, with his wife, raising a menagerie of animals, including two whippets, a manx barn cat (who doesn’t care for the whippets), two Bourbon Red turkeys (King Strut and Nefra-Turkey), and a pair of alpacas named Machu & Picchu. He teaches creative writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR., where he is also Writer-in-Residence.

Ed pic_3

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