for Todd Godwin, 1957-2011
He wore a duck suit for my Super 8 movie,
back in the days when I wanted to make movies,
before I found out that I couldn’t buy
cameras or film with food stamps. I borrowed
a camera and a shotgun, then rented a duck costume
for the star of my crime thriller, In Cold Duck.
In between takes, he would pull the duck’s head off
and tuck it underneath his arm, half-human, half-waterfowl,
curly beard and bright yellow feathers, a creature from the mythology
of ancient Assyria pontificating in a New Jersey British accent
about the art of improvisation. After the last take,
he wandered out onto my porch in full duck regalia,
waving the shotgun at passing cars on Johnson Street.
Thirty years later, the hunters of Wisconsin still shiver in the reeds
as they recall the Monster Duck who hunted humans. I know
he was only a man in a duck suit, a secret I can now reveal.
He was my Bigfoot, glimpsed on grainy film, the camera shaking.