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Feathered Friends


On Spectacle Pond a laggard loon yelped, next
I saw it, next I didn't. Hardly mannerly
of me to paddle out chasing the loons, but I did.

High fall color, but leaves upon leaves,
spotty this year, begrudge themselves. They remind
me of me, trying on grade school dresses in ill will.

Undone! Obstinate spirit undoing! óreiterates
whatchamacallit, territorial chirp of the backwater nondescript.
Every so often my heart sinks without a trace.

Shaggy pond, in finite patience, means to shrink itself
soon to a meadow: tree-by-toppling-over-
tree it raddles its rough edges gradually inwards.

Despised exotic once myself, I did my stint of fish-&-wildlife
mischief & thrived. (Among profuse apologies a few
fresh aspersions cast, with luck nobody gets them.)

Most maple leaves alight face-down. Buoyant on tips
on the facile surface, they round their silvery
wrongsides up & erect red stems; swanlike, disperse.

Brief breather, then parties to refractory
local hostilities resume: in a twinkling I snap up a modest
rocky lakefront property, post my dissuasion.

The pond mistakes itself for the time being.
Inevitably most pond creatures fall prey.
The pond quibbles and turns to itself a deaf ear.

Solicitudes, regrets: community civilities
too proliferate upon so little to recommend them that I do
relish a tongue-lashing followed by laughter.

Subject to lunatic humors, myopic of eye & woozy,
I poured myself some glasses of water. Binocular
blink: those two look to me like the same pair, year after year.


Martha Zweig

Monkey Lightning
Tupelo Press


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