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Reflections from the SwampLone Goose and Cigar Boxes

Lone Goose and Cigar Boxes

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Reader

The heart of the cold winter can be a dreary time for those of us who can’t fly south like the geese. From the shoreline of the swamp, I start to wait in anticipation for the return of our beloved geese in early March. This unfinished piece of writing, found in an old cigar box, now makes its debut. I am the goose’s soul speak, giving her a voice in a lonely swamp. I know that those who have lost their soul mates can relate to the need to embrace life again after life-altering sorrow. This piece of writing is for you.

Words on scraps of paper placed in the cigar box like the hockey cards, goose feathers, and old copper pennies await discovery. On this stormy day, the blizzard confines my wild-blowing mind to the indoors. Curiosity opens the box, sees Pandora, smells the phantom cigars –and inhales the fragrance of uncultivated prose and poetry.

The turned key awakens the frozen engine. My brain hums, the heater blows cold air over the scraps of poetry, random thoughts, and madness and turns them into a flock of startled geese lifting off the pond.

A lone goose remains on the swamp’s edge below. She isn’t doing a thing except standing on the beaver dam, holding the universe together.

Her mate’s untimely death, a shot in the dark, entered her own heart. She sheds her hopes like fall leaves until only one leaf remains on the tree. Her bones strain with the weight of carrying the skeleton of lost love.

She remembers the delight of feeling her webbed feet embraced in the mud. She sees her mate and six goslings meandering through the pond. Oh, how she delights in how the winds love to play with her wings, tossing them about, ruffling her feathers. The joy of honking with reckless abandon still echoes high above like a distant memory. She moves into the present, the place where all creation begins and ends.

While looking up, she sees the black silhouettes of geese flying into the orange ball of the sun. She feels the whole world surrounding her with all of its greatest hidden secrets. Her sufferings create the purest soul whose wings carry her spirit above and beyond her storms. Nature smiles and pulls gently on her strings of migrational strength to stir her on to embrace life.

She spreads her wings from this place of loneliness and lifts herself into the heavens.

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