ellen pratt

January 9, 2015 Comments Off on ellen pratt

My Marsh

Every August, ducks appear in a small bog next to the thruway. I see them on my commute back from work. I enjoy looking at what they are doing, if a great blue heron has joined them for the afternoon. Often I will see a row of ducks on a dead
tree preening, while others gather sustenance from the dark waters, their paths marked by the disturbance of the algae. By October, they are gone and the marsh seems so empty.

leaves blanket the ground
loons singing their departure
autumn is here
in all its glory to announce
winter is coming

In the marsh, a heron stands on a fallen branch. It’s cloaked in blue-gray feathers on spindly legs. The heron rests, turned away and guarded in the shadows of the trees. Nothing moving in the bog, everything is still in the heat of the early summer day.

I blame others for my
my teacher points out that I’m

I armor myself
so not to be penetrated
by the world
a chink ~ I turn towards you
and speak the truth clearly

I’m overjoyed to see the first duck of the season on the marsh. One day as I pass, I see it perched on a log; another day it’s paddling through the algae exploring its home. Every day I pass, I look hopefully to see if other ducks have joined it. The duck preens and dabbles for food, seemingly unaware of being alone. I share with a birder
my distress at this duck being alone; he explains to me that its mate is probably on a nest hidden in the grass.

I laugh
I’m my own victim
making up reality
instead of discovering
the truth

previously published in Writing to Awaken


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