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by Roberta Feins

The bay is a curved whole note,
flat water its silvered nacre.
Small quavers of steam rise off base clefs –
hunched silhouettes of Great Blue herons.
Overhead, duck wings beat
high tide’s first staccato. Soon more flocks –
widgeons, scaup – pulse southward in a great
autumn cadenza, Sun's cold volta.
Swirling flocks of dunlin flicker white,
brown. Their sharp vibrato trill,
more harmonics than pure note, echoes
low above the scribbled staff of beach
where algae line the sand in brown and green.
Across this score, calligraphy of worms,
beaks' probe and pock, webbed fans of ducks
write a concerto of glissandi, half notes, rests.

(first appeared in Through This Window:2, 2010)


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