Wednesday, November 15, 2023

“Canada” Geese in Portland

Seven generations of no migration. Winters

on the ice-free breast of the Willamette, Bybee Lake,

the green lawns of Sellwood, industrial plazas at Swan Island

that haven’t seen swans in a hundred years—


these geese think of Canada the way

my cousins and I think of China. A place

we own some connection to, but

go there? No. Why? Not our place.


But this time of year. When the wild flocks pass over.

They get restless. Big Vs over Delta Park,

headed for the water meadows on the Slough,

singing that old, old, wayfaring song.


And once in a while. At Silver Springs

or in the Reed College canyon—one bird sees

a single perfect red maple leaf

floating on its own reflection like an Escher print


and the water trembles with unknown desire.


Books Available
Dervish Lions
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

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