Tuesday, December 8, 2009

oH! nO! iT's A sTaMpEdE!

heard of plastic pink flamingos on lawn
Flamingos Have Arrived in Ashtabula
by Andrew Hudgins

Flamingos have arrived in Ashtabula.
Or one has. Bending to fetch the morning paper,
the mayor saw it standing on her lawn,
poised one-legged like a plastic bird
jabbed in the grass, and thinking it a joke,
she laughed. It lumbered, lurched into the air
and sailed across her back fence, rising pink
against the near-pink Ashtabula dawn.

Flamingos have arrived in Ashtabula,
blown here we think by a line of thunderstorms—
a scrap of pink confetti on the wind
except those storms were months ago. No zoo
reports a lost flamingo, and it doesn’t seem lost.
It circles the airport tower, lands on the courthouse,
and stalks a drainage ditch behind the mall,
where people linger with binoculars
to watch a flamingo feed in Ashtabula.

A local bar, once Dewey’s Hometown Lounge,
is now the Pink Flamingo—pink chairs, pink drinks.
Stuck in the ceiling, hundreds of plastic pink
flamingos hang over us upside down, observing,
while we sip pink gin and ponder the waitresses’
pink tee-shirts. From them even pinker pink
flamingos with sequin eyes return our gaze.
Flamingos have arrived in Ashtabula.

The tropical bodies resplendent against gray sky,
the languid beating of long wings—we see them
in our imagining and dreams, and now
in daylight we scan the sky, the bogs, the ditches
for a hint of pink or parrot-green, a red
that shimmers. Turquoise. Electric yellow eyes.
Or I do. I speak for no one but myself.
Flamingos have arrived in Ashtabula.

from Ecstatic in the Poison. Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Hudgins.

No comments:

Post a Comment