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In the middle of a prickly pear patch
stood an upright galvanized steel bucket
that wore the whitish patina of age.

In the bucket was water
about three quarters high in the hollow
and a Barbie doll floating face up.

The Barbie doll’s head
did not point toward magnetic north
but rotated slowly toward the west.

The outfit the doll wore
was Dia De Muertos Barbie’s dress
but on a blond Malibu Barbie body.

A magpie landed on the bucket’s lip
but could not reach the water
as it bent as far as it could into the bucket.

It hopped down onto the doll, but the doll
did not support the magpie’s weight
and the bird rose upward with perturbed flaps.

A girl holding a digital movie camera
removed herself from hiding
inside a large juniper bush.

She chased the magpie away.
She returned to her natural blind
and waited for smaller birds.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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