by KIKO V.
As I enter the small,
fenced-in nature preserve,
a burst of gunfire from a nearby shooting range
pierces the calm morning air.
Strolling along a marshy bank,
I spy a pair of mallard ducks,
quietly preening their downy feathers
and bobbing their heads in the gray, silty water.
Above, a clay pigeon explodes,
scattering its bloodless remains
over the tiny wetland refuge.
High up in a knotty oak tree,
a bushy tailed squirrel gnaws at a shiny acorn,
and a red-bellied woodpecker
taps out a steady beat.
High above them, a twin-engine Cessna
rumbles out from between the clouds,
accompanied by a chorus of squealing tires
and thumping car stereos
from the traffic below.
The park naturalist explains
that the animals have all grown
accustomed to the noise.
I tell him, “That is absurd!”
But my words are shot down
in a hail of buckshot.