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Dancing on the Water

Dancing on the Water

The lovers danced on the water
One rippling
One smoothing
In an endless circle of rough and smooth

The pretty one must be the goose, I thought
White like a wedding dress
Feathers delicate like lace
The plain brown one must be the gander

I looked for them every day
And saw them
Until they were gone
I was emptier without them

My arms propelled me
One paddle stroke
After another
Up miles of green river

I rested near a neighborhood of floating houses
I squinted at a spot 
A spot that glowed in contrast
White against the green water

Joy burst through my weariness
I paddled closer to see
My long lost white goose
Circling and swimming alone

“Hi, where are you from?”
Said a man who lived there
“I’m from downstream; I know this goose.
There were two; I miss them.”

“You can have them back;
They’re a nuisance I can do without.
The goose laid her eggs upon my deck; 
I broke them, but she won’t leave.”

The white one, the gander I now knew,
Swam around me like he understood
Tears slapped at the thought
Of the brown goose laying on empty eggs.

Two lovers danced upon the water
The brown goose 
And her snowy gander
In an endless circle of trying

I went away for a season or so
And I thought of the lovers
In the shiny water’s flow
I missed them but life moves on

Then I returned and I went paddling
In the warm May evening
And to my happy surprise
A cluster of geese came swimming by

The snow goose and his brown mate
And a half-dozen half-grown goslings
In one cuddly floating gaggle 
Circling in the endless wheel of trying

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