Poetry: If It Walks Like a Dead Duck by Todd Matson

If It Walks Like a Dead Duck

He was a

sitting duck

for ridicule and

humiliation – ugly

duckling face, nerdy

persona – a lame duck in

seventh grade hell, easy prey

for all the preppy predators with

all his odd duck attempts to hold his

own, to make a sly comeback, to be a

witty smartass only serving to make him

more of a sitting duck for relentless teasing

and taunting from school boy sharks smelling

blood and declaring every day to be duck season

with not one teacher or administrator enforcing the

zero-tolerance policy for bullying, with no one noticing

that if you walk like a dead duck and talk like a dead duck,

you just might be a dead duck – dead duck walking, ugly

duck walking dead.  What is a left-for-dead duck to do

when nobody cares whether the duck lives or dies?

One day he did the coldest and ugliest dead duck

thing of all.  He shot the babysitter through

the heart and then put the barrel of the

shotgun in his mouth and blew his

brains onto his bedroom wall

leaving what was left of

his cold naked dead

duck body lifeless

in his own cold

dead duck


Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. His poetry has been published in The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling and his short stories have been published in Ariel Chart International Literary Journal and The Chamber Magazine. He has also written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists, including Brent Lamb, Connie Scott and the Gaither Vocal Band.