Weeder Geese

 Sara Backer

The small white geese are easy.
I need only raise my right hand
to make them swerve left,
or my left to make them move right.

The fields are fenced to keep the geese
eating Bermuda grass,
clover, and horsetail
between pungent spearmint rows.

Goslings work best, enjoying food
more than sex. A hungry goose
will dig nubs of grass, even eat the roots.
A fighting goose is a feast.

I remind myself they are meant to be used.
But as I stumble down my muddy path,
and pause to unfold a silver wrapper
off a sliver of gum, I sometimes see

wild geese flying a ragged victory V,
feel twinges of pain in my sore shoulders,
and sense a shadow in the sky
raising an arm behind me.


 “Weeder Geese” previously appeared in Turtle Island Quarterly


Also by Sara Backer
Four Senryu for the Beaver / The Rabbit
I Like Coffee / Redwood Vision