The kids are out of school, flapping
their coats around, attempting teenage
wingspan, spinning as if they would leave
a trail of feathers behind them. They’re competing
with the screeching of Canadian geese
and swans who finally reclaim
the water from the hunch-back pull
of rowers, the churning of their oars
and the continual collapse
of the current.
We’re all hedging our bets now,
darkness loiters in the doorway
while the clouds slowly retreat, turning
highlighter-pink in a final act of defiance
against their bedtime.
If what they say is true. About the souls
of men at sea getting one last chance
in this clot of black feathers, you
must have lost your way home.
Perched every morning by the water,
fanning your wings in broken repetition,
neck still curved from the fisherman’s chokehold
and the tie of string that kept
the small fish suspended in your gurgling
call. A shadow of water brought to life,
you dive as if you know something
will pull you out
from the wreckage of algae and abandoned bikes.
You hold your own against
the heron that inches blindly, becoming
a crack of sunlight along the muddy evening
of the river bank.