Cliff Watson

I stopped
Squarely in my lane was
                                                             little brown mama duck
A few paces to her right
                                                             Her            four           tiny            ducklings
                                                             Slowly and uncer tain ly travel l ing
                                                             By f l u f f y Brownian motion
                                                             Toward the edge of the road

Mama braced
                Demanded I give way
                                     Head high
                                                   Coal-eyes unblinking

Damning the drainage control that hides their water and
                 Requires them to cross unyielding asphalt and
                                   Breathe my suffocating fumes and
                                                    Face rolling wheels of death

                  Damning our house cats that eat her children

                                          Damning the fertilizer that poisons their wetland weed

She did not disapprove
She was angry
Not a gentle flock, a tasty brace, a sweet waddling
But a murder of ducks

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