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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Geese that won't fly south

An October rain sprays over the backs of geese as they rise from the river top, their heavy wings grabbing at the wet air as if climbing a ladder or swimming a pond, each stroke slow, each gull calling out cadance like rowers, leaving drips of additional moisture on the river's surface, helping to further smear the colors of the changing leaves.
Over head, the geese swirl, turning east, west, north, but not yet south, each seeming reluctant to take that step.
You can hear the echo of their honking off the brick face of the river side factories, and the stone hidden in the banks of reeds. Some of the honking isn't echo, but other geese struggling out from the dense growth, woken late for lift off, complaining at the others for not calling them sooner.
If anyone sees or hears any of this but me, they do not show their faces. Few come to the river side in the cold mists. Few jog river road when the temperature drops below 40 degrees. On warmer days, old men dot the stony sides where former factory basement walls still form the bank, standing on the lower levels, holding fishing poles and nets, tossing their hooks into the unspoiled china surface with hopes of pulling something free.
Now, only the rain disturbs that surface, and the fish beneath, the stirring of a colored broth that will soon fade into winter.
Still the geese do not yet turn south, instead twisting again in the air, as indecisive as I am, both of us knowing where we should be going, but resisting it, holding out for something we may never get.

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