27 January 2019
By Philip Kuepper
Harlequin ducks float,
carnivalesque, on the river,
as though having just danced out of
the halls of a royal court.
What queen had they been humoring?
Once departed, had royal smiles
faded? Or did their faces begin
to express anticipation at their return?
But, at present, the ducks
jewel the river.
They are a frolic of beauty.
They cannot help but dazzle
the solemn winterscape.
They tempt the trees become
courtiers; shrubs spilled jewels
from royal coffers;
even a scruffy skiff a royal barge,
on the stern of which sits perched
a cormorant, black as Balthazar,
and as august,
bearing his magical gift.
(17 January 2019)