Progress

In the right frame of my window
the ducks party in the lake;
stage left the backhoe digs a foundation,
eats the earth that holds it up.
The arias of diesel stack and throat horn harmonize
across a field of goats, the only grazers natural
in soft or metal blades of grass.

The ducks fish now below the surface;
the digger disappears in its own hole.

A vulture bends a patient limb, waits
like a word hard to say
for the machine to bury itself,
for a daffy duck to wade into nets
and broadcast waves of bullseye,
so that nothing pronounced dead
goes to waste.

—Robert S. King. First published in The Green Hills Literary Lantern

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