Anne Gruner

The geese used to fly south
for the winter, a honking traffic jam
slipstreaming overhead in V-formation,
a peloton team, guided by an inner compass.
Craning my neck skyward, I listened
to the seasonal siren of change.

The gaggle now settles here for the winter.
Seems I’m no longer a flyover,
but a destination, a port.
Snow on the lawn that once shimmered
in the sunlight has become a flotilla
of gray feathers adrift on a sea of grass,
an avian navy commandeering the yard.
Black and white heads bob, gobbling greenery,
except for one—tall and alert: the captain of the watch.

My small harbor is warm and peaceful—but for
two golden retrievers staring from the window.
The furry sentinels gently whine,
seized by ancestral urges.
The local golf course, inundated
with the cackling interlopers,
compensates canines to play
an endless game of tag they cannot win.

I let slip my golden dogs of war, who cry havoc.
The armada takes flight, sailing into the blue.

It’s oddly comforting that the pattern
will repeat tomorrow and again,
but I know at some point the fleet
will opt to dock further north,
abandoning my port to loneliness.