The Lake in Winter

Perplexed Duck

Perplexed Duck

The Lake in Winter

winter weather is here

the lake has a frozen crust

ducks stand around perplexed by solid water

they peck at the ice as if expecting food

they shuffle about like old people

wearing slipper socks on a slippery floor

but they don’t fall, and if they do

they have not far to go

we stood and watched them,

glowing in the brilliant sunlight

then started to walk away and they scattered suddenly

for no apparent reason but then two eagles cruised by

looking for ducks perhaps, or maybe not

surely it would have been so easy to swoop down and grab one

next a river otter hiding beneath the dock

where there was no ice

came out briefly chewing on something we couldn’t see

before it went back into hiding

now a hawk, a large red tail

harassed by crows it leaves its high perch

leisurely sails away, regal, nonplussed by its pursuers

it soon disappears like the otter, but into the sky

quite frozen we turn towards home now


when we find a skull hung from a branch by the path

a cow we assume, whence it came a mystery

no cows here for decades yet there it hangs

like a relic from the desert

we examine and leave it there

looking up we see the eagle swirling about

riding the updraft or merely the wind


it circles several times then heads away

towards a perch atop a tall tree,

coming to rest seemingly implacable

the master of all beneath its imperious gaze

it hardly bothers to see us as we walk by

no doubt it paid us no heed

though we looked up and admired it with looks that said

we hold you in awe and though we do not scatter when you come

we are grateful you deign not attack us

a natural fact of which we are secretly worried

lest it not be an infallible truth

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Filed under Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized

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