This sad sight seen yesterday on my way to town
has turned into a verse:
The Poor Goose!
Along the highway hurrying
to errands of my own
my eye is arrested—
and my heart is wrenched—
to see a snow goose thrashing,
wildly, its head snagged on fence wire.
I grieve for the terrified captive
flailing, struggling to be free
and think how it will die there
Nature, how cruel you are!
And mankind worse,
to put up this barbed wire!
Rescue options futile, I realize;
desperate as this creature is,
my help would not be welcome.
Car tires with their steady hum
propel me along the rural road until
I approach the flapping bird.
I stifle a groan.
Dry up, O bleeding heart.
It’s just a plastic bag.
Oh, well. Surely
a poem can be wrung
from this ragged, fluttering “goose”
its handles snagged on a fence wire.