The Imaginary Fable Of The One-Legged Flamingo

Originally posted 12/30/2014.

Pretend there’s a fable
about a flamingo born
with one and only one leg.

Pretend this bird somehow survives
the vagaries of indifferent
and unrelenting nature
and becomes an adult.

Pretend few ever get close enough
to offer solace or support —
after all, from a distance
no one would be able to tell
the bird was born missing a leg.

Pretend a one-legged flamingo,
unable by definition to switch
to its other leg when
it grows tired of standing still,
must fly more often 
than its counterparts.

Pretend it’s not at all farfetched
such a bird could truly survive. 

Pretend the fable has a moral:

to those from whom much is taken
much is also given,

unending fatigue in living may draw out
an urge and capacity to soar,

perspective and vision may come to one
as compensation for grievous wounds.

Pretend that it matters which words are used. 

Pretend like mad
that the chosen moral
is strong enough to keep
the flamingo from drowning
when one night it finally
is so exhausted from the cycle
of unsteady standing
and desperate flight

that it descends

though there are no
shallows in which to land.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

7 responses to “The Imaginary Fable Of The One-Legged Flamingo

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