by Michael Waterson
Illustrious Audubon routinely slew
And devoured with relish the same birds he drew.
On his quest for natural preservation
He brooked no gustative reservation.
Each rosy spoonbill, each rare chickadee
Was cooked on a spit or in fine fricassee.
From palette to palate, from perch to a plate,
The artist's good taste sealed each avian’s fate.
But let us recall, in the artist’s defense,
that bird populations in his day were dense.
A skyward-tossed stone from most any venue
yielded John James a full fowl-course menu.
He left it for us to conserve and ecologize.
But were he alive I’m sure he’d apologize.
Michael Waterson grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Napa, California with his 16-year-old son, Jake. He received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College, Oakland, California, and is employed as the editor of a weekly newspaper, The American Canyon Eagle, put out by Napa Valley Publishing. His work has appeared in numerous publications and his poem Elvis In Hell took first prize in the 2005 Jessamyn West Writing Contest.