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don't let your eyes deceive you

flamingo or flamingoes
which one it is no one knows
long legged wading birds
three forward-pointing toes
born white
but turn pink
with yellow eyes
and dark red beaks

making nests out of mud
with room for one large egg
don’t let your eyes deceive you
it sleeps standing on one leg
and will place its head upside down
when it's time to eat
with its head under the water
bill pointed at its feet

when it’s time to feed their chicks
it can often look like fighting
one head dripping blood
it really does look frightening
but this is how the young one’s fed
and it’s really quite nutritious
protein and fat-rich cells
it’s simply quite delicious

you may have seen them stood around
but they also may take flight
although if travelling long distance
they often go by night
as seasons change and winter comes
warm air is what they need
a frozen lake just won’t do
when it comes time to breed

the most flamboyant dance you ever saw
it really is fantastic
but nowadays you’ll most likely see
a flamingo made of plastic
these are the ones you’ll see on lawns
outside of people’s homes
but you’ll never see one in the wild
being ridden by a gnome

© September 2021

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