An orange-footed wobbler paced across
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?