Vestigial Structures

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Long ago my ancestors left the trees 

with their tailbones tucked between their legs,

and they turned out fine.

Snakes did the same

And grew out their spines,

More than I could ever hope to,

Lost some things along the way

And are still with us today.

Who needs tonsils anyway?

Consult the appendix,

All you like,

You won’t find a good reason.

“All these pieces of me,

From yesteryear,

Are still here,”

I said, getting goosebumps.

If my flaws make me human,

Then what about the leftovers,

From when I definitely wasn’t?

In doing what it takes to survive,

You cannot afford,

To go back to the drawing board,

And you can’t correct the record,

When your body is the archive.

Lichen

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Complementary cooperation,

is part and parcel,

with survival

in this world.

There is space for you here

with me,

even if we look different from each other,

and come from separate 

walks of life.

In times of strife,

Keep me company,

And give me cover,

So I can give unto you,

The bounty the Sun provides,

With no expectation

Of reciprocation.

From our closeness,

Comes sacred symbiosis,

So that,

In sum,

We are more

Than one another.

Brood Parasites

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The tools of the trade:

Cryptic plumage,

Hawkish mannerisms,

And a steady supply,

Of child soldiers.

The cuckoo lies in wait,

Standing stealthily,

Avoiding strife,

With her victim’s eventual lapse,

She strikes.

Though they care not for their neighbors,

They do have a knack,

For finding babysitters,

Despite their reputation,

As impolite guests.

The screaming chick,

Sounds like the clutch,

Of hungry children,

It jettisoned.

On the other hand,

In the other hemisphere,

The cowbird makes little effort,

To make its egg inconspicuous,

Instead it relies on mob mentality.

The mom pays a visit,

To her nest of choice,

Which will be destroyed,

At the first sign of resistance,

To their alimony.

If there’s any acrimony,

It isn’t apparent,

As the often very different parent,

Raises the imposter.

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IMAGE CREDITS: 

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/c/cuckoo/

http://jasonking.net/site/brown-headed-cowbird/

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Migration Patterns

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Seven mallard ducks flew in the familiar v-shaped formation they take when coming from or going to far-off places.

The land they cast shadows on grew more and more sparse the further they traversed.

“What a spring this has been,” the Second Lieutenant said with pride, he was sick that day.

The group was well-fed and riding high.

“I know,” piped the First Lieutenant enthusiastically, “I even got some french fries!”

At the apex of the V,  the Colonel glanced at the Lieutenant Colonel incredulously.

“Love those things,” said the Captain.

“Guys, watch yourself out here,” sounded the Lieutenant Colonel.

“Yeah, humans were handing out bread like it was going out of fashion,” said the omega male, no one acknowledged him.

The leader stayed silent.

“We had the park all to ourselves! It was a great spring,” said the Major

There was a whooshing sound, then a smack.

The captain looked behind him, shed contour feathers twirled in the vortex of displaced air.

“Well,” the Colonel said, “seems like our idle chit-chat got our Second Lieutenant eaten by a peregrine falcon,” he said in monotone, “let’s try to keep our mouths shut for a little while, huh?”

Bad Vibes

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It turns out,

Saying “don’t be nervous,”

Is a great way,

To be counterproductive.

Fear is self-sabotage,

And more often than not,

Fired in an unexpected,

Barrage.

Like a bull in a china shop,

It raises hell,

And won’t stop,

Prancing,

And dancing all over,

Your most precious,

Fabergé eggshells.

The floor,

Wasn’t a great place,

To put those,

If I’m being honest.

But that’s not important,

Anymore,

Because it’s time to acknowledge,

These animals in the room.

Quick,

Go get some tweezers,

And glue,

While I patch up,

The kicked-down door,

So no more,

Come through.

 

Adenosine Triphosphate

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In trying times,

Deep down inside,

You will find,

You are strengthened by division.

To rouse the energy,

To walk to the kitchen,

You must burn some molecular bridges.

Not to worry,

It will not be painful,

The connections themselves,

Are unstable.

Throw the planks,

Into the churning,

Eternally burning,

Internal furnace.

Now you can take action,

Or perform mundane tasks,

Whichever comes first.

The Life of a Write-Off

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The ceiling,

Had an impromptu,

Skylight,

And fluffy, pink,

Fiberglass tufts,

Showed through,

Holes in the drywall.

The driveway had huge crevices,

From the refreezing,

Ice-cleavers,

That come and go,

With each Winter.

A flexing frame,

Made vascular,

By tunneling termites,

And shifts,

Caused by cracks,

In the foundation.

The whole thing,

Collapsed eventually,

Without warning,

When no one was looking.

Decomposition,

Can drag on,

For years at a time,

Then destruction,

Finishes,

In an instant.