The Wood Duck

A wood duck trapped in the icing pond waits.

It’s heart, a subtle engine, diesels in the lead December wind.

There is no struggle, no shift in death.

The spirit migrates, the wood duck stays, a still warm vacancy.

Will I know when it is over?

An aperture appears in which we dissappear.

Like frantic children fallen through the ice, we panic.

See the shadows of our rescuers above in a limpid fluvial light,

A wordless colloquy of facial gestures, beg for absolution.

We drift apart, born off on different currents.

And what of us?

Does the spirit migrate, drown or freeze?

It’s cold inside our house, a neuraesthenic cold, impervious to heat.

My dog has watched the duck all winter.

It’s only an illusion I tell him.

Spring, 1989

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