Friday, November 15, 2013


Pal Goose

On that sunny day
I opened your pen door
And let you out —
You loved the sun
Sun on snow
Making tracks to the pond —
Because it got too busy
But I have no excuse how
I forgot to close your
Pen door and left home

Sometime in the evening
Faraway, thoughts to you and
The open door but I would get back
The moon was out, and you
Loved the moon —
The raccoon was out, and he
Hunts by the moon —
The next morning you were
Found dead with eyes open
Suddenly flat and huge on the snow

Too big for raccoon to even bother with
Whose blood-tracks tricky designed away
And then as if he noticed how obvious
Seemed to wash his murderous paws
Off in the snow and vanished

You were our third gander
In twenty years, flocks of
Geese once upon a time mixed
With ducks and chickens and when
Our rooster died you were the new
Rooster for the chickens —
It looked funny, it looked
Practical, you fit

I miss you now when I split
Wood and wait to hear your call
Loud and sudden and part of me


Bob Arnold
from Once In Vermont
Gnomon Books, 1999


Anonymous said...

Hi, dear Bob, I think you already know how much I love your poem. I wrote one on a goose that I once met:

The White Goose

The white goose tilts its head to the side, casting a blue eye up
at the visitor. Orange beak very bright with sun and snow light.
Transfixed among calved ice slabs, it barely floats in the metal
trough, until just before sundown. As it rises, I follow.

How nimbly, the goose leaves its tiny glacier, waddles to a
heap of hay inside a nearby barn, softly honking, murmuring,
poking at the dry yellow straw of its very own bed.

palm leaf offering –
the child's fist stays tight
all the way home

Donna Fleischer
South by Southeast 2012

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Ah, Donna,

"As it rises, I follow."


Ever thanks for sharing.

Our geese now flying overhead day by day
all's well, Bob