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Mergansers

Michael Redhill
From:   Asphodel. McClelland & Stewart, 1997, pp47


Fat and green and black, duck-thick
they flock slowly through the grass,
drawn to the reflecting pool.
Seedpods helicopter down
and sink under the diamond surface
where they become sleek schools of minnow,
moving sharp as a single thought.
Everything that loves to live comes here,
to the edge of water, though it changes
those who gaze or move through it.
It's an unhappy element, chained to itself, vanishing
at the edge of its own membrane. Mergansers
who puddle up through the greeny-blue
are devouring the space they came from,
and above them we see our solid bodies
waver, two broken skins meeting—
an illusioned space. It's food and fire,
oxygenated earth, everything that returns:
the man reading a paper on the bench,
the ducks eating plugs of soil in the grass.
It's this paper and this hand. It's as unfree
as any free land.


Michael Redhill's works copyright © to the author.


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