John Beaton: Tailgating A Pheasant

We’re driving down a single-track in Dornie
when suddenly a pheasant blocks the road.
He’s all alone. He must be so forlorn he
forgets the basics of the Highway Code.

He’s seen some US telly – that’s a scunner –
for now he’s commandeering passing space
so he can emulate the great Road Runner,
his hero. We must, crawlingly, give chase.

This pheasant isn’t pleasant, he’s neurotic
and obstinate – he simply won’t give way.
He struts as if his butt’s somehow erotic.
Well, granted, it has feathers on display.

But we’re immune to avian peacock-ery.
It’s time for him to step aside and stop.
His lackadaisical trotting makes a mockery
of every speeding-ticket traffic cop.

Then, after all this trying to control me,
he tires and pulls aside to let us pass
but stares as if to say, “The locals call me
'Greased Lightning' here in Dornie. Kiss my ass!”

Cock pheasant head and neck.