Thursday, April 16, 2009

White Duck in a Green Pool

For National Poetry Month and for Creative Every Day

White Duck in a Green Pool

The Clinton River makes an acute turn, chews
up the banks and topples trees whose roots hang fibrous
and ungrounded into the green water. Mallards, quacking
and grunting, slide along the current like pucks
in an air hockey game, smooth on the wrinkled green surface,
interrupting the reflection of willows and phragmites
with their shiny blue and green heads. When the river cuts
back far enough, it will rejoin itself, abandoning
this U-shaped oxbow to stagnate like an old appendix.
Already, the trail caves into the river and disappears,
almost impassable between the plunge to water
and the thicket of brambles. Already,
old oxbows ring islands of trashy willows and weeds
where Canada geese nest, the males hissing,
trailing intruders, attacking with wing blows,
with the heavy thump of breastbone against neck and shoulder.
No one in this dismal place is jubilant, but the white ducks,
resting on the sandbar opposite the bend of the river preen
their spotless feathers with bright orange smiles.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
090416-1025-2a, 090413-1730-1b

I've been posting most of my poetry that I have time to post, including the drafts, to The Smell of Sun because I've been too busy to do what I usually do, which is to post the early drafts here and the later ones there.

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