Devil’s Lake Monster by Richard Stevenson

Devil’s Lake Monster
Richard Stevenson

Legend has it
fresh water octopi
reside in Devil’s Lake.
Drowned canoes
of Nakota braves.
 
Back in the day.
But, nah, the Nakota Sioux
have it the creature
was more like a plesiosaur,
and they tried to appease it.
 
Fed it slaughtered calves.
You know the story.
Took the long way
around the lake,
hugging the shores.
 
They didn’t have
high air pressure harpoons,
outboard motors;
didn’t leave peacock feather
gasoline impressions.
 
So there you go.
Devil’s gone incommunicado
or developed flippers,
Hop-skipped little lakes
left after the drought.
 
Bought an
evolution ticket out
of Devil’s lake,
waddled over mud flats
to the ocean shore … .
 
Plesiosaur or octopus –
Take your pick.  It skipped town.
Vamoosed, scrammed or
scrambled outta there.
Died out or split the scene.
 
None of the braves
escaped tentacles or teeth.
All bopped or squeezed,
taken to the depths.
Never seen again.
 
OR 
 
the devil
was a grouper gropin’
in the mud, gasping for air.
Stranded on a mud flat
between evaporating ponds.
 
Wally What-the-f***
Wallendo succumbed
in a bummer summer
trying to flap himself
between shallow puddle lakes
 
while sons of absent
fathers stayed their distance
and looked on.
A hairy fish with
modified fins tried to walk!
 
Wally Wallendo
didn’t have flippers.
Didn’t have
tentacles or teeth.
Didn’t have feet.

He had boney plates,
a big boney mouth
that groped at
the prospect of oxygen,
big eyes fixed on the sky.

Devil’s Lake Monster by Richard Stevenson 1

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