can any living creatures be more

poignant than baby fluff goslings 

with their mama, and, maybe, dad, 

in the ponds and lakes and even 

ox-bowed eddies of running rivers

in our Mother Lode? 

I’m looking at these little faces, like 

the faces of our own living children, 

so strong in life and, still, so fragile: 

given raptors and riparian animals - 

predators, all ready. all preying... 

life is little hearts beating in hope - 

cadence of tiny webs of feet - 

paddling for the joy and for the very

obedience to the DNAs so complex.

sweet, chomping of young beaks -

beads of alert and confident eyes - 

no apparent awareness of fear, yet. 

soon. they will all learn, soon:

life and death are real and are one. 

mama goose knows: it’s all borrowed. 

every bird must live long enough 

to fly and fly and fly. 

even then, all days are numbered by....