KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Poem: 78 words
Commentary: 144 words


by Lloyd Merriam

A smudge on the asphalt
but much more

To and fro

One moment
a joyous creature
rising to heights 
like early fantasies

Free but bound
so much deeper 
than intellect

Confused and alone,
a nudge on the asphalt
now lying barren

To and fro

Ancient pairings 
of gifts once given

A lifetime smitten 
in a moment gone

A sludge on the asphalt
time to go

To and fro

What comes of it
that flies again no more?


Poet’s Commentary: May 2017

There was a dead bird in the road. Probably hit by a car and run over a few times by the time I stumbled upon it. Its apparent mate kept flying back to the spot from a nearby perch on a telephone pole whenever there was a break in the traffic on this relatively busy road. It would pace back and forth while intermittently nudging the lifeless carcass as if that would somehow bring it back to life. I watched this for several minutes. The cars would come and s/he flew off, sometimes in the nick of time as if to say that suffering the same fate might not be so terrible after all. Ten minutes later there was no recognizable bird left at all. But still its mate returned. And then it didn’t. It was heartbreaking. And I’ll never forget it.

[“Wrenched” was written 25 years ago, circa 1992.]

Lloyd Merriam
Issue 9, Spring 2018

is retired from a professional career of developing and marketing logistics and predictive analytics software. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Quantum Secret: How Evolution Really Works.

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