I am considering circles while I watch the big crow pick
at the newly dead carcass of the mallard duck,
so fresh the emerald band at his neck is still vibrant.
Contrasted with the silky pink of his innards which spring
and slip in the black birds’ beak as she squawks in consternation.
I saw him, the mallard, come home to this pond with his mate,
a dusty brown she-duck who fought by his side for a bit of space.
The geese are so big and brassy-honking with their bandit black
bands and striking wing spans hogging all the reedy wilds.
I got to see the eggs, just a hint, in all their tan and brown
speckled glory, but missed the hatching, as it was a weekend.
Monday showed me ruffled, squeaking babies and their proud
papa trying to look larger than the male goose and quacking.
I must have been at work when it happened, filing maybe, something inane,
when some delivery truck or careless texting driver didn’t swerve.
Those of us who pass here between the hours of eight and five,
Monday to Friday, we go slowly; it only looks non-residential.
We separate ourselves from them in every way we can;
autopsies are for humans. The crow’s delicate necropsy performed
in search of the sustenance she has to find somehow.
I am considering circles as the crow flies off, a gory prize
clasped in the chipped and faded beak that shows her age.
The circle of this pond, the circle of the sun, the circle of the
Earth that spins its’ weather like a cotton candy machine
sending and bringing birds to and fro, season after season.
The circle that makes him egg, to caretaker, to dinner for the
tiny, hungry, squeaking beaks in a nest not his own.
These circles almost, but not quite, make it okay.
Poem by Lindsay Maruszewski
I am a conservation educator specializing in the raising of local insects and gardens to teach others about conservation, climate change, pollinator gardening and insect habitat rehabilitation. www.lindsaysmonarchs.com