The fuzzy image of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker,

elusive as amnesia, rare as a new idea,

is alleged to have been captured by camera

scattering from a tree trunk in an Arkansas swamp

decades after being declared extinct


The phantom bird has again escaped detection,

free to dart in and out of hanging wonderlands

of pure chance away from malls and busy streets


If not extinct, I cheer for it to keel and hover

in perpetual innuendo and blur, never again

to be catalogued and stuffed, the last odd duck

of a species still lurking in the shade of what

remains of irony and paradox:


Like small children who migrate to dark closets

to seek the wonder and comfort of the obscure