The place has changed
where water pooled,
ringed by cattails

at the end
of irrigated pastures
long gone brown

for rock and gravel
royalties that boomed
before the bust.

How many times
have those Mallards
risen in my mind?

My father’s words
on a Sabbath saved
from Sunday School,

an ascension
beyond religion
dripping from clouds.


4 responses to “TAILWATER

  1. Am I to understand you played hooky for green heads?
    What a great dad, expanding the depth of religion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And so the myth gets started…. Actually, it was April without shotguns, one of those moments replayed a thousand times in my mind as the Mallards were rising, he facing the sky as he spoke in part to me about there being a little more to religion and believing in God than going to church, his recognition of the moment as something very special, one to be revered. More than likely I’ll write another twenty poems about it.

      And yes, we did play hooky more than once for green heads, but not this event–strictly a visual epiphany. And now, I’d rather watch ducks come into decoys than fill my limit. Probably haven’t shot a duck in a decade or more.


  2. Thank you so much for expounding. I missed those times with my dad as he wasn’t a hunter and worked 6 or 7 days a week. I however was born to be an outdoors man and hunter. Until I got old enough to drive and go learn on my own, I lived vicariously through Field and Stream, Spots Afield, Gene Hill and his “Hill Country” etc. I dreamed of living in the country. My dad and I did fish occasionally. That, and just the time we had together I do cherish.
    I didn’t fail to give my kids the experiences I missed. They are better people knowing what it is to see a flight at morning first light as they cup their wings and side slip, to just catch a glimpse of dove speeding by like bats before dawn. The feeling of sometimes letting a deer or elk walk on by because you know you have succeeded by your abilities that have provided the choice.
    Looking forward to the next twenty.

    Liked by 1 person

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