Ed Shacklee


The Common Retronaut

A kind of slug, it doesn’t fly, but claims it has the knack.
Its native gait a stately one step forward, two steps back,
it thrives in ivory towers once it paints the windows black.

Its call is shrilly thunderous. It has a mighty brood.
Its ponderings are ponderous, and often somber-hued.
Its future is foreshortened: it anticipates a feud.

Its air is philanthropic while it pinches every penny,
its view a tad myopic. As to hope, it hasn’t any.
Its Latin name means Legion: even one can seem too many.


Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Able Muse, Angle, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Loch Raven Review, Per Contra and Shot Glass Journal, among other places. He is working on a bestiary.