Canada Geese I






 Coats of Liquid Light

It begins slowly, lazily, in the wetland.
She begins dipping her head into the water,
long neck reaching into the mirror of March,
early spring sun, glinting.

A water drop, starbright, drips from her blue beak, and he follows,
dipping his head and long neck in the liquid blue.
Like a snake, the neck undulates,
and she dips again, and he follows.
Again, and he follows and it speeds up, she dipping and he following
until his dipping begins to synchronize with hers,
and all the while
they are throwing water over their backs behind them,
like liquid light making a coat of diamonds,
not diamonds, but something of greater worth,
undulating light, until at last they are perfectly synchronized,
both dipping their heads in the water in unison,
throwing liquid light onto their back,
two coats of liquid light for an avian marriage.
Two coats becoming one coat, one motion, love.

Coats of Liquid Light

And just after they come into a harmony of identical motion, he mounts her and holds her neck in his beak, and they couple, quickly,
and when it is done, they both put their heads into the air,
long necks stretching,
and cry out, -- This We Have Done-

Exultant after Mating

and from around the wetland,
I can hear the assent of other geese

hearing that their cousin or brother has mated,
and the community is whole, and they are all safe.

They are married with license in a ceremony that is not ritual
and they wear no rings or veils, but something far more beautiful.
They wear coats of liquid light, made of water and of air.

Those who kill Canada Geese do not realize
what they kill .
These birds that have learned to turn water into air and air into liquid light.
They turn basic elements into unison.
The harmony they achieve in this act
allows them to make a society
of a hundred birds
that can fly a thousand miles.
Better than Magellan,
Long before Lindberg,
flying together in liquid flight

under the Milky Way 






Copyright 2002 Mark Koslow. All Rights Reserved.


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