The Last Duck

We trapped him—
the dignified male
with the graceful neck—
and held him down
till drowned. His death

was ugly. His heart
wouldn’t let his wings
go limp. They hit
the lip of the tub like fists.
There were long, slow moments
when we could have let him live.
Then his beak bubbled death,
and we didn’t. That day

a silence stilled the yard.
The ducks didn’t fly, drink, eat,
or bob their mobile necks to speak,
but stood, breath-stopped as stone.