An Ode

May 15, 2013

by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

A hot day. A muddy stream
weaved by twigs.

There you are.

Neither a swan nor a goose,
your neck still attempts some grace.

Too bad
you aren’t taken seriously.

If you’re going to tell a joke
involving an animal,
make it a duck.

Is it because of
your elongated beak?
Your monogamous habit?

Perhaps it’s the sudden quack.
The orphaned babies.

But you should have stopped
being funny

the day they coated
you bright yellow
and made you a toy,

for it would take
your plastic likeness
centuries

to biodegrade.
Long after you and I
die, little duck,

your clone will
continue
to haunt.


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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming (website) is a Hong Kong-born writer currently based in London, UK. She is a founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and the marketing director of Fleeting Books.

  1. Barbara LaMorticella
    June 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I appreciate the clear perception and ironic sensibility here.

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