Adding to Darwin
A year gone by
and I saw her again.
A year ago I noticed her
with her mother, brothers and sisters.
slower than the others,
a little limping gosling,
soft yellow-green down,
glistening sun in the silk,
a color more spring than marigold.
She cried to her mother
her foot twisted sideways
at the joint, crumpled.
If it were my foot it would be like
walking on my ankle
with my heel twisted off the ground,
all the weight of my body
upon a joint not meant for the ground.
Could she live I wondered.?
The river was too high to cross.
She cried for her mother again
Her father standing over her too.
Her four siblings running and swimming.
She could not keep up.
But her mother waited for her.
Her father waited too.
Should I capture her and bring her home?
She got up, fell down, got up again,
and made it to the water.
She swam well enough,
“I”ll see how she is tomorrow”.
But when I returned
I could not find her.
Will she die with such a foot?
Darwin suggests she cannot live.
Spencer's "Survival of the Fittest" may not always be true.
This gosling might surivive.
A year passed. yesterday I saw her again.
Still calling for her mother.
A full grown goose now.
Proud and standing on one foot.
Is that her mother sitting nearby?
the one who nested near the sycamore
and whose nest failed?
The foot is deformed the same way.
Ankle turned inward, no heel,
all the weight on the joint.
It is the same bird.
She still limps badly.
But she is alive !
All praise to Life.
She is with her tribe.
About 80 birds in this flock.
I know most of them.
She was standing in the wetland
where nearly all 80 birds
have been born.
Some were born across the river.
But they are all an extended family
who know eachother voices,
know the excited calls of mating,
the lattice of their community,
the calls of their homeland.
Theirs is the place I call Hero’s.