Helen Hagemann


Ducks on Water Hollow


Helen Hagemann


Helen Hagemann accompanying Ducks@dusk



No one can claim this space

here amongst the lily pads.

We are eighteen, some of higher rank; musk,

wood ducks, wild ducks who never stop shifting.

We eat curls of bread with fresh butter thrown into the river.

Someone screams ahead, the last of

the picnickers ceasing their wild rampage

over a round ball of leather.

The quiet grows.

Already, we feel the cool coming in. Hear

feet sloshing, dogs funneling noses into earth.

When the light fades, we glide into black aisles,

into a night’s rest on lily-pads,

into our water hollow, that green hollow

of soft earth filled with dark shadows.

Sleep comes easily in this world of wild reality.

Puddle, bush and mist and the weight

of human has gone in our triumph.

No one can claim this river

unless they can place their heads

upside down into mud.




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