Melting snow and traffic and
dog walkers, walking their dogs.
Wet paw prints and old oak leaves.
The river, taking a walk of its own,
migrating into the park.
The banks unable to hold back
the spring melt.
Barricades and sand bags,
sunshine and people in shorts.
Skateboarders and bicyclers.
Trees and shrubs bare but waiting
to burst with green.
Friends and lovers like
black bears fresh from
a winter’s sleep.
We shake off the cold,
warm tired muscles
and walk outside to find
the world still exists
under the heavy burden of snow.
We remember our lives
as we used to live,
in tee shirts and sunglasses
like they were nothing more
than dreams in sleep.
Dreams we recall on a February
day when the wind howls
and snow pours from the sky.
Remember, we think, remember
when we wore tee shirts outside
and walked with sandals
on our feet?
That’s just a dream, just a dream.
Standing along the river bank,
dignified in their ungainly grace,
nine pelicans stand or sit and watch
like some prehistoric judges
as the river parades slowly past.
A little further along the bank
geese, flapping, fluttering, and
stomping in the mud, voice
their discontent, loudly, as if
the river is wholly unacceptable
in its proceeding and stance.
A deer, on the opposite bank,
lifts its head and observes
both groups, with measured
indifference, as it chews something
it found among the weeds.
One pelican raises its orange
bill in the direction of the deer
and then away, as if to say he’s
bored and determines this river
to be insufficient for his needs.
But he cannot align himself with the
unruly, peasant-like geese, he
being, after all, a pelican of
some standing, among his group.