Wednesday, November 2, 2022

“Dancing Geese in the Fall”

 November 2, 2022, Poem of the Day:

“Dancing Geese in the Fall”

In late fall when intimations of winter
make summer seem like a dream,
the Canadian geese come,
appearing in the distance,
a hint of a V against the darkening sky.

We first hear them as we tromp through the brush
and groves of cottonwoods and Russian olives.
Then, their incessant honking careens off
the grayish sky, a rhythmic cadence from afar,
growing closer and closer as we huddle quietly,
breathless, beneath the trees, afraid
a tiny movement or a blink of our eyes
will shoo them away and beyond our view.

They cautiously swirl, circle, and hover
over the large grain field,
threshed barely four weeks ago,
watching for any trappings of trouble.

Suddenly, they all drop slowly in unison,
their wings tucked, gliding ever so daintily
like ballet dancers across a stage,
gliding, hanging just so in the air
like Michael Jordan.

It’s a show for us, as we stay hidden
behind tree trunks, squinting
through what’s left of fall leaves,
to watch the nimble geese,
their sleek bodies dressed in blacks, grays,
and whites, landing so effortlessly
like they had practiced for centuries.

Just before their graceful landing,
their wings shift forward, pushing wind
to the side and trapping some to hold them
afloat for those brief moments
while they pick the right spot to land
in wheat stubble just tall enough to provide
some semblance of cover and respite.

Each transcendent landing earns mostly 9.9s, maybe higher.
Momentarily their honking grows muffled
as if they are saying, “spread out,
stay in the middle, away from the edges
of the field, in sight of all of us.”
A few drakes strut around the group,
heads bobbing, stoic and majestic,
subtly honking commands and chatter
while the rest scrounge for hidden grain
and peace from their long flight.

Still mesmerized, we look at each other,
nod knowingly, back away slowly,
cautiously not wanting to interrupt them,
sending them into flight and the chilly air
while the Canadians forage and prep
for a quiet night and a safe rest
in an open field of wheat stubble
near our house, a warm fire,
and hot chocolate with marshmallows.

November 2, 2022






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