A bunch of old snakeheads down by the pond
carrying on the swan tradition, hissing
inside their white bodies, raising and lowering their heads
like ostriches, regretting only the sad tradition
that forced them to waddle back into the water
after their life under the rocks, wishing they could slither again
as they did in the old days, wishing they could lie again in the sun
and dream of spreading their terrifying wings,
wishing, this time, they could sail through the sky like horses,
their tails rigid, their white manes fluttering,
their mouths open, their sharp teeth flashing,
drops of mercy pouring from their eyes,
bolts of wisdom from their foreheads.