Atop a rippling sycamore—merganser!
White spades on a black teardrop head,
like an overripe domino the bird flips toward
the glassy terrain and break-plunges
into the muck.
A goose finds a summit
and stabs its split feathers
until a pudged down has emerged.
(This is satisfying, impossibly so,
to the grey bird.)
Sunbeams crash through the tree stretch,
and dribble between muck paths;
when the merganser dives its feet are illuminated,
great knobbed sticks behind a slick submarine.
Minnows swoop and furrow toward middle pond.
The grey goose watches a human, legs tucked away,
drab head and marvelous blue coat—a hunchbacked crane—
cleaning nothing, singing nothing,
dangling an elaborate worn stick,
wishing to pull something fighting from the murky golden pond.
The grey goose flexes its feet, flaps and unflaps its wings,
settles into its feathers and does not make a sound.
Merganser flips, sinks, and rises—flips, sinks, and
rises. A radiant path is opened. He follows
a single string down.