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Helplessness & Appetite



Last night on Lake Menomin, out on the thin new born ice a Canadian goose struggles to free its ice-ed in leg. Every few minutes it presses its dark wings into the translucent crust. The only thing of color, its one orange webbed foot pushes against the cold deadly surface. Its elegant black neck lengthens, straining for release. Then it rests.


Helpless from the shore a half hour passes.


Our breath rises up to halo the waning moon as we ebb for home.

We knock on the neighbor’s door, we wake him from a lazy Sunday nap,

“Is there someone we can contact? Can anything be done?”

He says, “that goose is cooked unless the ice breaks up”, giving a wry, sleepy smile.

This morning, I walk down to the edge with binoculars; hopeful in the light spit of drizzle that I won’t need them. Hoping the wind broke up the ice and it (she?) flew to freedom. Freeing me from my helplessness.


First I hear the crows, then see the eagle. Through the magnifying lens the only things of color are the bloody lump of goose and the eagle's sun yellow beak. Fascinated I watch it (him?) pull strings of flesh from between its talons, feeding.


Helpless from the shore a half hour passes.

Impatient crows wait. Then well fed on fresh meat it lifts its black wings wide and with a power and grace that defies me, pulls itself up into the grey and away. Fulfilled

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@ Tracy Chipman - Storyteller / Proudly created with sweet creative juice & some cursing!