In memory of Mimi Ward, who passed away ten years ago and in honor of Lucy Bogue who celebrates ten years of remission from leukemia.  I wrote this poem thinking of both of them at the time, and there is sadness today that makes me think of these geese, and joy that makes me grateful for my life, the love of my family and friends.


Warmer Waters*

They fly across the gray sky

those soldiers of the season.

Tighter and looser formations

Varying sizes of flocks.

I hear the honking, their calls

to one another, “Are you there?”

“Did we get everyone?”

“It’s growing cold again.”

The north winds shake the color

from our mountains.

Rain pours into the rivers, out of

my eyes, down my cheeks.

The banks are flooded, the roads

washed away, one more friend

knocking at my soul

and I am flooded too.

I want to jump in line

Form a V of my own, know

instinctively which way to go

Call out and hear my mate’s echo.

I have always loved the fall.

Crisp sunny days, brilliant shades

of red, orange and yellow mixing

with the evergreens.

But this one seems too long,

too sad, and I’m ready to

land, like the geese

in warmer waters.

*First published in the Anthology of New England Writers, 2007.

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