The small white geese are easy.

I need only raise my right hand

to make them swerve left,

or my left to make them move right.


The fields are fenced to keep the geese

eating Bermuda grass,

clover, and horsetail

between pungent spearmint rows.


Goslings work best, enjoying food

more than sex. A hungry goose

will dig nubs of grass, even eat the roots.

A fighting goose is a feast.


I remind myself they are meant to be used.

But as I stumble down my muddy path,

and pause to unfold a silver wrapper

off a sliver of gum, I sometimes see


wild geese flying a ragged victory V,

feel twinges of pain in my sore shoulders,

and sense a shadow in the sky

raising an arm behind me.

First published in Turtle Island Quarterly