Ropen, by Richard Stevenson
Very like a Pterodactyl or Pteranodon
with shorter wingspan, leathery wings,
sharp reptilian teeth and tail.
Spotted on the islands of Rambutyo
and Umboi, occasionally inland
Papua New Guinea. Perth, Australia.
Can smell a human corpse in a coffin
in a funeral procession or fish
in the hold of a fishing boat; will have
a Mac attack for fast food
and swoop down upon the sloop
or procession with equal aplomb.
Some report a six- or eight-foot wingspan,
some twenty- or thirty-foot. Wider than
a Piper Cub’s wingspan in one report.
Fast flyer too. Don’t wanna have one
drop down on yer deck for a barbecue;
he don’t mind his meat rare or slightly pink
and isn’t fussy about the buns or condiments.
Face it, the Ropen finds burgers, tube steaks,
humans, small cats and dogs equally delectable.
Best have an AK-47 or small cannon
at hand if you’re gonna eat outdoors.
The Ropen don’t wait for dinner invitations.
He won’t settle for a few burger frisbees
on the fly. Even a pizza discus won’t
appease him. In truth, he prefers dinner on the hoof.
But who knows? Maybe Ropens are better than
turkey or tofurkey. Will fill a freezer or three
with enough protein for Christmas, Easter,
and any number of hallowed/hollow days:
Ropen burgers, Ropen steaks, Ropen
and Rutabaga stew! Ropen soup: so good for you!
Richard Stevenson recently retired from a thirty-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College . His most recent books are Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders, a long poem sequence (Dreaming Big Publications, USA, 2017), and A Gaggle of Geese, haikai poems and sequences (Alba Publications, UK,2017).