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128th Weekly Poetry Contest honorable mention: Reservoir No. 6

by Miles T. Ranter

Reservoir No. 6


Geese dawdle near the melting ice

   while gulls, like white confetti,

wheel before a mount of mist:

   they sense the sun is ready

to muscle through the pall of clouds

   whose drops have drummed as steady


across these hills as ocean waves

   have clawed the cliffs, as streams

have swelled, and wind has gnawed the world. 

   They’ve washed away the dreams

of tadpoles, catfish, carp, and trout

   which flash their glitter-gleams.


Defrosted frogs in fevered ferver

   quack and trill and whistle,

fawns tail their leaders through the cedars,

   blinking at bears that bristle,

while hairy caterpillars hatch

   on hickory and thistle.


This must be why I scaled the fence,

   slogging along a track

of rills and muddy puddles; why

   each sneaker is a sack 

of sopping wilderness; and why

   each spring I will be back.


(Appeared in The Road Not Taken)

128th Weekly Poetry Contest