augury doggerel

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Society of Friends (The Quackers)

When they built the place where I work, they dug a small pond near the building and put a chain-link fence around it. Little is done for aesthetics or enjoyment in this company or this town; I believe the pond is intended to drain groundwater away from the building foundations and to be a useful supply of water should angry villagers ever come in the night to set torch to the place and its evil humming electronic brains.

I can't see the pond from my window, but I sometimes stop to watch it when I'm going to or from work. Burst cattails and grass line the edge; the water is thick, a deep green murk, a beautiful green cocktail. When I'm watching, nothing ever breaks the surface.

But this spring, mallards glide past my window in pairs � I don't know whether they are several pairs of occasional ducks or a single pair of restless ducks � but mallards glide by, two at a time, on an arc that must end with orange heels digging into the green surface of the pond. And just as often, they go the opposite way, working the air up and away from where, just beyond my line of sight, I know the pond was that morning.

I've never seen the ducks and the pond together. I only know that the pond is there and the ducks are there, and that it must be peaceful to be a duck on the pond.


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