The world’s most perfect couple

She lays herself out
on the slow current,
neck extended, orange

paddles holding her
steady as he circles,
bobbing his shimmering

head, then climbs
aboard, mates, nibbles
briefly her elegant nape,

dismounts and circles
once more, fast — an
exhilaration, an exuberance —

exhausting his fletched
desire before settling
beside her on the bank,

resting in sun-dappled snow,
bills tucked beneath wings,
the world’s most perfect

couple, dreaming
of nothing more,
of nothing less,

of nothing else, while
quietly she loves
his iridescence, and he

her lustrous speculum,
and each the other’s
wagging tail, and

how even the water —
sheeting from just-
preened feathers —

cannot contain the
buoyancy of
their shared life.






  1. Such a great piece, Cate. There are many times I wish we had not drifted so far from nature. -Russ


    1. Me, too, Russ. Just watching the ducks in the creek on a winter walk lifts my spirits; they are so effortlessly beautiful and present.

      I hope your December is proceeding pleasurably. Thanks as always for reading, Russ!

      Liked by 1 person

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