Geese in Winter


Self-medicated, winter,
geese fly north. The car
almost wouldn’t start.

Drive along the Mohawk
flood plain. Cattails, grasses,
no doubt ash and elm.

Restful tans and browns.
Flat, but fewer houses here.
Drive slower, but still city.

Arrive at the interview.
Corner of State and Clinton,
a branch of my wife’s bank,

she’s their attorney,
and its luminous blue corporate logo
between empty store fronts.

She’s pregnant. How sweet, what joy!
But cautious joy. How to hold
onto the fetus until it joins our world.

That they might not offer me the job
and they might, make me equally sad.
Fly in formation, life for pay.

Joe’s bitter about his job. No joy
whatsoever. His priority is to get those
beautiful daughters through college.

We are men. Men are warriors, and so
are women. We meet the cold, dark, early
winter morning and do not flinch from pain.

Young, my boast had been
distances and heights traveled. Now
any road serves well

as the long narrow road to the north.
The cold, quiet solitude of that road
would serve well too.

The story of Sally, the story of John.
It takes an advanced, healthy economy
to produce science and technology

but aborigines may track animals
and draw symbols in the sand. They may give
each cloud and bird and tree a personal

secret name. And explain according
to a logic for which we need equations
how geese in winter flow north today.


Copyright 2012 by Robert Ronnow.