state-owned (that’s code for we own) grass
her dull brown plumage glinting when she paused,
to preen her brilliantly orange palmate:
a generous propulsion system for water fowl
and perhaps just a bit cumbersome when locked on dry land.
Further beyond our mistress of dabbling,
shorn grass grows into knee-high sward;
the lawn-keeper’s dereliction of duty
explained in a hand-written sign:
Duck nesting area. We’ll mow after her ducklings are grown and gone.
Along the growing edge, and even further beyond that
whir precariously planted pinwheels
their sun-sparkled blades
a quiet call to arms for:
children we are losing
children who might lose themselves
to see if someone cares.
And I wondered
–not for the first time–
and with some little dismay
what our world could be
if we took such care
of our own tender mamas
and their wee, precious babies?