The Goose on the Pond

The goose on the pond, which can’t fly,
on spotting me swims hell for leather.
I crouch. She, approaching, not shy
but hissing, tongue out, wonders whether—

after striving to swim hell for leather—
to come closer or quickly retreat.
She hisses, tongue out, weighing whether
the stuff in my palm’s good to eat.

To come closer or quickly retreat
is resolved. She stops hissing and strikes,
wallops my palm. Good to eat!
Seeds and oats are a mixture she likes.

She stops hissing and rhythmically strikes
my hand as I crouch. She’s not shy.
Seeds and oats are a mixture she likes,
this Canada goose which can’t fly.


Miles T. Ranter's picture
Thanks, Elisa. Yes, it's an interesting form. It's called a pantoum, which originated in Malay. Steel-cut or rolled, plus millet, sorghum, and black sunflower seeds. Lately, there is a whole flock of them on the pond, plus three Khaki Campbell ducks and lots of mallards. Together they are keeping that portion of the pond ice-free. The rest of it is frozen over. They probably sense that the weather will soon be Arctic.

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