January 9, 1989
Every time I see the geese, they are never flying south: their patterned winged formation soaring over my head with general precision, their direction always in the mind, the compass points sharply engraved.
They always seem to know which way to go, where to stand or land or feed, who to trust, and again, whom not to, the inner alarm of danger sounding off again, when I see nothing.
They know. And they rise in a fury of feathers, seeking space, seeking that which will allow them to trust again.
Who knows how they know?
But who can blame them when they leap to false alarm, the curious child rushing to them in the erroneous effort to hug.
Even a child’s strength can crush them.
And who can say that such a thing isn’t in the child’s heart from the start.
And me, I stagger along this waterway looking at the old buildings leaning in towards the river, one large gray box with one side gone, ready to fall, waiting for a good gust of wind to knock it down – one more thing that will set the geese to flight.