Canada Goose by Martin J. Elster

Canada Goose

I feed this goose that cannot fly
but swims on the pond in the local park
with her mallard pals. Will she be lonely
when ice starts spreading across her home,
a home for Khaki Campbells, too,
plus catfish? I come every day

to see if she’s still there. (Someday
she won’t be.) Gaudy butterflies
and dragonflies are absent. Too
damn cold for them now in the park.
The last day of the year. Our homes
with holiday lights, though far from lonely,

perch on a pale blue pebble, lonely,
whirling, revolving day by day,
zipping across cold vacuum. Home:
A pond? A house? A world? I fly
in time to the earliest living spark:
a molecule which split in two.

Over eons and eons, too
slowly to fathom, across a lonely
globe, a planetary park
of beings appeared and perished. Day
now draws its curtains as I fly
back to the bird whose liquid home’s

the only one she’s known, this home
of muddy banks and algae, two
islands of leafless trees. Jets fly
trailing their contrails between the lonely
cirrus clouds. Later today
fireworks will thunder, spark

the fire of spirits in the park
downtown. I’ll hear the bombs from home
as the birds will from their pond. Today’s
a day the pond birds revel too—
as every day. Above the lonely
sycamores, the goose will fly

across this park, the cosmos, to
her home among the moons, the lonely
stars. In daydreams, we both fly.

by Martin J. Elster, first appeared in Pulsebeat

Editor’s Note: This lovely sestina moves from a small pond to a universe and back again via the musings of the speaker as the season inexorably changes.


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