Sam Robison

they drowned in the mud
like they might’ve in
, someone says
as in tarpit, as in sinkhole

fell into the shallow hole
couldn’t climb out for the rain
drowned in the mud there
and in their fear there
cold, wet

found them in the morning
one morning, kingdom of daylight
draining through trees
their bodies rolled through mud
little-caramel-apple-like, little beaks
dimly open, drinking up soot

a dead thing is not a novel thing here
violence stitches this beauty together
every bed dug a kind of violence
every row planted a new unnatural laceration
an imposition of bad order, another
wound to dress

still, often death is happened upon
and its drama is recapitulated in an instant
their fall there
their trying to clamber out
their failure, their slips and
mother goose yells, father
goose hisses, a scene
of bird-brained helplessness, a
fever of helplessness snuffed out
by boredom, a slow, gurgling death

two gosling bodies, wrapped in mud, dried now
caking a little, there, unexpected and
the grief absorbs the air all around you
for one flickering frame

and then gloves, then shovel

Sam Robison is a poet and orchardist with deep ties to the Olympic Peninsula. A former resident of Port Townsend and Portland, he is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Montana.

Originally published in Moss: Volume Six.

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