The Most Important Thing

Stop, says the world,
so we do,
and out of the reeds
they tumble – one by one

and three by two
onto the pavement
all fluff and feather
so yellow it hurts

the heart.  The fathers
and mothers (and aunts
and uncles and friends
to be sure) guide the goslings

toward still water. Some
are weeks old, some are days,
and we hold our breaths
for the one who

changes its mind mid-
way to return to tall grass,
and again for the tiny caboose
who topples

out of sight in a puff,
popping finally
onto pavement. Participants
in this crossing,

we are welcomed
into morning,
our many stories turned
to silence.

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