04 January, 2010

Canada Geese

Their tribalism is what you first admire.
Flying in formation
they drop from grace
to colonize your world

laying claim to marshes,
a local ballfield, your berry patch,
putting green, when you are inches
from an eagle.

Their sentries, attentive
to your attention, stare
down your stare and you find yourself
ceding holdings one by one

but hold no grudges.  They
are as clever as Martians,
you believe, and the corner
of your lot was too wet to plant,

your aim too flawed for eagles.
Besides, several have stooped
to peck at greens, exchanging views
on your unwingedness.

In the estuaries of your past
you imagine bribes in some backwater
offered to centurions. Mere nibbles.
You start with twists

of bread, then to more exotic
shavings of Stilton, croissant ends,
and nod, knowing you will never be admitted
to their circle.

~ ~ George Ellenbogen

Published in Queen's Quarterly, Vol. 114  (Spring, 2007).  Republished in Morning Gothic (Vehicule Press, 2007).