Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Geese Meeting

by special guest poet Abigail E. Myers

We started calling it “the geese meeting”

last year, for lack of any better term.

On the baseball field behind the little school

the Canada geese would gather,

in clusters that together must have numbered

a hundred or two, and sit and rest their wings.

The kids and I could never figure out why.

The geese became their own attraction.

It didn’t matter if it was time for class—

even gym, even art, even lunch—

the kids would congregate at the window

in the hallway and watch the geese meeting.

They had no more idea than the geese

why it was worth watching.

Maybe it wasn’t the geese at all,

but the dream of melting snow,

the re-emergence of the dirt

on the pitcher’s mound—

perhaps it wasn’t anything

but an excuse to linger in the hall,

and at least it was something to watch,

some explanation their teachers could give

themselves for the lingering laggards.

This year, the geese meetings have resumed,

identical to last year’s conventions,

same time, same place, same station.

And this year, different kids stop, point it out,

wonder why the time, the place,

look out at the baseball fields, long for spring.

Next year, the geese may wonder

where I have gone, why I no longer watch

their grave and silent proceedings,

or they may wonder why I, too,

stop what I am doing, for another year,

to observe, to remember, to replace the children

who have moved on to other times,

other places, other meetings on other fields.

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