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Month 5:13 “The Followers”


Between storm warnings I take an afternoon break
by the river’s edge and find a vacant bench just as a mother
duck leads her offspring through the current, southbound,

her summer flank and breast gliding like the fitted helmet
of a biker glimpsed above a trail hedge. Behind her
six babies paddle, each small brown chick wobbling

like a wayward dribble off a tip of her wing feathers —
brood insouciant —
                                                  until a single male Mallard
ruddering upstream comes into our view and immediately

all young ones align in pairs at their mother’s tail: so severe
are their perfect parallel lines of three that I could yield
in this moment to such arrangement, that wildest of phases.

by Therese L. Broderick

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

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