Duck on Skates

What have we done to the animals;
given them human names,
tamed them, morphed them,
stamped them with our image?

The parrot in the metal cage
is performing tricks for bribes;
naming colors, sizes, shapes
for the scientist who clipped his wings.

The monkey wearing a fringed cowboy suit
is strapped to the back of a poodle
and forced to ride in dizzy circles
to please the state fair crowd.

The duck racing on roller skates
forgets he still can fly,
that he once spent summer days
skimming a sunlit pond.

They will stalk us in our dreams:
the duck on roller skates,
the monkey in the fringed cowboy suit,
the parrot who foretells the end of the world.


Photography © Roger Leege

Photography © Roger Leege


Donna M. Davis is a poet and former English teacher who lives in Central New York and operates a book design and resume writing service. She has had her poetry published in The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Oddball Magazine, The Milo Review, Halcyon Magazine, Gingerbread House, The Comstock Review, and others.

Roger Leege started out as a painter, printmaker and analog photographer, earning BA and MA degrees in Visual Arts from Goddard College. During postgrad university study in computer science, he was an early adopter and evangelist for digital art and artists’ tools. With gallery, print, and online publishing credits in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, he especially enjoys working with writers and the “literate” press.