Flu Bird
    by Douglas Gilbert

Shoo flu; don’t bother any feverish pretty bird –
she’s got new places to fly, has
songs to fluently sing like Supergirl,
dynamic visitor from a poetic planet,
faster than a speeding silly eagle
able to leap over my building in a single bounce
and she, I’ve heard, feels feverish. Well yes,

I wanted to hear everything even though
we’ve parted, departed, left the park where
she had released her homing pigeons
for their test flights, and to be
alone with me

She loved her birds, and
I, her coo’s, because she’s
a pretty feather
a tickle.

Who knew flu would come again
from bird to bird to pig to human
assuming many mutated forms, a spreading

storm of sneezes across the world
stirring up brews for brooding
clouds hanging over chicken soup
a reign of foreboding virus, but

many don’t succumb
or get hit by lightning
in their tanks or cars
though many are
run over by swine
and never come home

not fine in any case of woe
where soup falls into the wishing well, but
let me fly home where love is food
and yet finally our love would be uncaged.

Let there be a sage, I say,
no, I demand, that says

if there’s any justice,
we’ll meet again
in the meadow by the lake
for goodness sakes, only just
sneezing joy from pollen and tickles,
and never struck by lightning


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