The Duckpond: from Freebird Fridays

I try and share a book excerpt a month on this site. I’m a few days early, but for April (and because I need to daydream of spring while snow pours down outside my window) I’m sharing a poem from Freebird Fridays on the passage of life and time, which centers around the setting of a duck pond. Happy Reading! -BethAnne

“the duckpond”

It was 5 years ago when I walked around the duck pond
with my youth and our gremlin dog.
Drinking coffee, feeding crumbs to the geese.
My world is safe, small, content. Clouded with judgment
and fears and a tiny wisp inside who wonders, more.
I’m not sure if I notice the sky above,
I am in the only box I know.

It was 4 years ago when I walked around the duck pond.
My more found herself lost in a green eyed vortex that
played a wicked game of chess with my naive heart.
I don’t know where to find my lost pieces so I walk along
searching for them among the calm waters and happy feathers.
I plead with the sky above, I am breaking.

It was 3 years ago when I walked around the duck pond.
I am broken and whole. Unboxed.
My wisp has become a flame burning through all that isn’t real,
it consumes much. My youth looks at me, confusion in his gaze.
I have few answers, I wish I knew the questions.
I have $1,000 in my pocket, a fist of broken dreams and the love
of a gremlin dog who licks the salt from night’s sorrowful waves.
I look up at the sky above, I wonder why life has brought me here?

It was 2 years ago when I walked around the duck pond.
I have spent a year meeting parts of myself I never knew existed.
Some are dark and shaded, some are free and live,
all are beautiful. I realize I am learning how to love.
I smile at the sky above, my insides match my outside.

It was 1 year ago when I walked around the duck pond.
I can still feel the bruises and scars left by his careless prints.
Desolate, my heart plays a familiar song of break
so I play myself broken once more. I walk along
searching for my pieces among the calm waters and happy feathers.
I accuse the sky above, Nobody told me having
a brave heart would cost so dear.

It was 6 months ago when I walked around the duck pond.
My gremlin dog is dying, and my youth comes to say goodbye
to this precious link to our other life and space.
We have lived different answers, but time brings peace to our gaze.
My most faithful friend can no longer walk, so I carry him around
one last time and sing him to sleep across the horizon. I know how to carry:
I have become a woman who has learned to carry her full.
The water has never been more calm. I cry with the sky above,
I am sad and wise and very strong.

It was 3 months ago when I walked around the duck pond.
He put his arm around me for the first time. We had met
on a trail in Oregon a few days after I sang my friend to rest,
talking faithfully since. I showed him all my brokenness
that makes me lovely and whole, then he crossed the ocean for me.
We watch February’s sun lay against Winter’s ice.
He feels warm and safe and good.
I wonder at the sky above, my heart knows profound gratitude.

Today I walked around the duck pond.
A white ball of fur chases sunbeams at my feet,
fascinated by geese, joy in motion. I think about the man
moving across the water for me, this time staying for keeps.
My heart is massive and open and deeply brave.
Filled with happy feathers and calm waters.
I laugh with the sky above, the only box I know is love.

It has no walls.

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