Thursday, December 30, 2010

kept in

My steps stop, doorless
at the edge of the canal to watch

mallards in snow-coats, the egrets and snowgeese
all stopped for a moment on their trek south

or wherever it is that Arctic-Canadian ducks go,
the blackgreen-headed mallards arranged in a line

four and five deep and forty across wobbling
in a tugboat's wake; and I wake

looking! at them - we all clutch at the hinges sometimes,
don't we? mine were screwed in too tightly,

too tightly to stand and watch the mallards
for more than a minute, afraid the smoke

might get through the door and kill me -
suck, suck; but oh the stately geese -

they honk, attack, and harry the tired, cold ducks;
but I could be projecting(?), here, ashes;

yet I observe the egrets, the peaceful
bickering blackwater birds not weird enough

to withstand the oscillation or the onslaught of either,
but what happiness! that they have no

dank cellar door to open or be kept in;
by mallards, by snowgeese, even shotguns

blasting their hollow bones - a regular Greek chorus
of not singing-sung birds, a moveable blessing.

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