We drove dark hours to stand fast and pray
as out a flat wet mile away the vast
black mass ruffles and huffs on paddled mud:
geese dreaming of sugar beet feastings. Light
grows grey, the roost is loosening.
in blurred whirlings, a slow smoke-drift of beaked
machines creaking, a loud cloud thinning out
into tangled skeins, like a greased net flung
by some god of mud; a net weaving and
unweaving itself in ragged motion,
a soul knitting its destiny from thread
that won’t stay unbroken. All this calling
is a love song bleak as tundra. Left behind:
soft curled feathers on the mud for the tide.