It’s a child-mind
not yet inked with idiom
that dances undiscouraged—
squeals, flails, flaps and honks
the wild goose chase—

she runs at pond’s edge,
arms wide, grasping toward
the fast escaping geese.
What does she think to do with one
if caught? They’re almost bigger than
herself in her exuberant red cap.

I watch, leaning on my stick,
knowing the lost cause.
The few souls passing my park bench
smile and nod. Perhaps they’ve also known
the feeling once, of chasing God.

Her grownups call the child
to supper, sleep, away.
The light of day is lessening;
the geese have gone
wherever geese must go at night

but there’s still time
to gather those wing feathers
the goose-chase left behind.

I could do that
if I had a mind.


25 responses »

  1. Wonderful Cynthia, this poem about a child’s wild goose chase! Yes, what to do with it if she got one! πŸ™‚ The last sentence keeps me pondering , I hope you will get a feather though! Mind or not!

    • I don’t think that goose would be cooked….probably an easy getaway. We have plenty of Canada geese here, probably the laziest (or smartest) ones who don’t fly any farther south than they have to! Thanks for stopping by, Ina

  2. Tranquil scene but quite a lot going on: young child, grown-ups, an older person with a stick; the light fading towards evening and the close. But for now, still time to join in, if one had a mind … I think you’re picking up some feathers here Cynthia and sharing them with us. A lovely poem.

    • Well, yes, John, thank you, very much. I have quite a collection of goose feathers. They make excellent quill pens if one has the patience to cure them (in hot sand) and the skill to cut them (with a penknife).One can write poems with them,too, though I don’t know how many readers those writings would have, these days, if one had a mind to do that….Fra Pennafolio would have used such a pen.

  3. This is fabulous, Cynthia–you’re brilliant at putting us in the scene. And the phrase, “chasing God” is a fascinating ponder for me. Hope you are well, by the way–was thinking of you a lot yesterday for some unknown reason….

    • I have indeed been “under the weather” (chronic pain flares in direct proportion to humidity, and it’s been very muggy here) so not getting to read and comment on my optimum number of blogs. Don’t worry, though, I’m keeping tabs on you, lady, even when I don’t comment! I’ve even enjoyed,imaginatively, the red beans and rice of that excellent poem. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

      • Ohh, I would SO love to bring you food–the red beans and rice were a great success, as was the banana bread. I’d have you feeling better in no time a’tall! I am sorry about the pain–mine has been problematic of late, too, and doesn’t help the depression a bit. So when I’m moaning, I’ll send up a prayer for your pain too–might just help us both.

  4. Lovely poem in which exuberant youth contrasts with the poet witness. My mother always said that youth is wasted on the young! I hope that you feel better soon as the warmth of summer thaws out your joints. Obviously age hasn’t dulled your poetic flame – quite the contrary it seems to go from strength to strength. Congratulations, Jane

    • I appreciate your taking time to read and comment, Jane, as you are surely scurrying about, balancing a very full plate. I imagine your fertile brain is storing up ideas for stories that you will share with us, come a more leisurely phase. I look forward to that; I have been missing what I regard as your deadpan treatment of the odd and outrageous! Thanks so much for your usual thoughtful response to my poem.

  5. I just love everything about this poem Cynthia! The title, the whole observational thing going on and the last two pondering lines wrap it up perfectly, a sort of “non-ending” . 😊

  6. Now I feel like going on a wild goose chase and picking up feathers, afterwards. πŸ˜‰ Enjoyed this poem. πŸ™‚

  7. This poem is most striking for me at “chasing God”…where I then reread the entire poem, like the child’s goose chase, I chase after meaning, picking up feathers. I like how we only see them (the geese) fly at night and in our mind’s eye, where geese may go, where God may go. And the one watching on the bench touches a part of my psyche that is observing, rational, seated.

    I tried to catch a bird once…

    • Trying to catch a bird in flight…chasing God…and what is required, of innocence, or of reason?…picking up feathers. A very rich and interesting reading, Anna. Thank you!

  8. Aahh, how beautiful Cynthia!!β™₯ It’s so funny to see little ones with their very big minds pursuing the impossible, and I love the way you’ve told this, really takes me to the park scene! Also reminded me of my childhood – a few terrifying moments with a bunch of geese chasing me with food in a bowl for chickens. Someone forgot to tell me the geese might be a problem – greedy birds. It was almost an Alfred Hitchcock moment! πŸ˜‰ I chased many things in my girly days, but after that experience I wouldn’t have chosen geese!! πŸ˜€

    • Great story about your own reverse goose chase, Suzy, though I imagine it was terrifying at the time.I used to visit a lady who kept chickens and geese (back when I was doing a lot of calligraphy–she saved their large wing feathers for me, to cut quills).I remember her warnings about the geese, when I got too near the pen. And that Hitchcock movie….I shudder just thinking of it…a nightmare! But if not geese, I’m glad you did chase something! πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Cynthia, your posts haven’t been going into my reader so I un-followed and re-followed, hopefully this will solve the problem. Lovely writing, child-like in wonderment and observant to say why not me? I like this very much!

    • Ah, WP is at it again! I post a new poem (pretty religiously) once a week, so lots of days can go by before someone would notice a problem. Glad to be back on your reader…and I’ll take this moment to congratulate you on the study of trees…it’s inspirational!

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