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Pink-footed geese are wintering on the marshes

west of here – flocks from Spitzbergen, Iceland,

Greenland. This late October morning

the garden is full of noises: the trimming

and shaping of hedges, bushes, trees,

the blowing and gathering of leaves –

and high cries as a skein flies eastwards

to feed on wheat stalks in the stubble fields.


The afternoon is disturbed by sirens –

not fire or police or ambulance.

There have been explosions somewhere north

we are informed – but all is well. At twilight,

as usual, directly overhead

the geese, in their centuries, return,

cries like ululations.




© Copyright David Selzer

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