Thaw – #poetry but not #poetrymonth poetry

Ducks, I suspect,
rarely meditate
or spend much time
contemplating their failures.

A few years back, two ducks
flap-flopped from the sky
to splash into the swimming pool,
returning each spring until
we filled the pool with dirt,
and with crushed granite,
because the ducks had become
the only ones swimming in it.

Decades ago, when I was young,
ducks waddled across Tryon Street,
marching from Roaring Brook
through the muddy flood pastures
down to the river,
ignoring the Killiam’s dairy cows
in a celebration of
mutual disinterest.

The cows and the ducks and the brook
comprised a constancy of motion and stillness,
much like the river,
which would announce the end of winter
with the booming thunder of cracking ice,
a magical sound I could hear
as I lay in my top bunk
on the hill across Tryon Street.

I loved the river all iced-over,
but I loved the great heaves
of the drifting floes more.

I wonder if the ducks, or the cows, even noticed.

I suspect they knew
what has taken me
a lifetime to learn.
That the river freezes over,
and the ice thaws,
but the water keeps flowing
just underneath.

And this is why I know that,
someday,
my phone will ring,
and it will sound
like river ice breaking,
and when I hear your voice
we will be friends
once more.

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