After it hops as it must,

pauses to compose itself, raises its beak,

the one legged bird could be a partisan

in the shadow of a flag just before

execution by firing squad

Who would ever know or remember?

When it appears, the speeding driver

brakes into a slide over wet leaves,

He must, even though

he’s hurried to meet the woman who loves him,

if only because he thinks

he’s spotted a one legged bird

He opens the car door slowly

so it will not flee,

but quickly learns

it would not have fled anyway

because it’s already bounded

beyond fear

He speculates if

it’s the habit of its species,

like sandpiper, like plover,

to tuck one leg into its feathers

As it hops again, he determines by deduction

it’s truly mono limbed

How then did it lose its ability to scratch?

How can it elude its enemies:

crouched cats, hawks on a hunt

How can it alight

on a tree limb

without tumbling backwards?

The rest of the day,

the rest of his life,

he honors the one legged bird,

having discovered

if nothing more

why woman cherishes a wounded man