“An American Landay Winter Lament” by Mare Leonard
An American Landay Winter Lament
A day after winter storm Stella
I stroll on a cleared path at the Rondout Creek.
Crazed by snow banks higher than my waist,
the absence of the usual ducks and seagulls, I pick up speed.
Are ducks hiding in the weeds on the hunt
for fish eggs, or lined up to hear the mallard, his chestnut
breast puffed out, setting rules for spring:
males will claim first dives for tourists’ stale crumbs?
Are seagulls gathered around a bonfire
roasting marshmallows, cawing ha ha ha to the wife
pacing the widow’s walk, hands cupped over her eyes
to search the horizon for a ship loaded with whale bone and furs?
The fishery shakes in its foundation, mocks,
“Come inside darling. We sell more than smoked salmon!”
I jog past, squint to spot a white whale
beached on the shore. Hear Ahab, “I am the master of my fate!”
No escape from monomaniacs. But I don’t see straight.
No Moby Dick ahead! Tons of white plastic hide the Clearwater,
the refurbished sloop that saved the Hudson. I hear the leftist, the artist
Pete Seeger sing, “There is a season/ turn, turn turn/
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace.”
Mare Leonard has published chapbooks at 2River, Pudding House, Antrim House Press and RedOchreLit. Her poetry has appeared in The Naugatuck Review, Hubbub, Cloudbank, The Chronogram, Earth’s Daughter, Ilya’s Honey and most recently in A Rat’s Ass Review, Perfume River, The Courtship of Wind, New Verse News, Bindweed, Forage and the New Independents. She recently won a First Finalist award in the NY State Di Biase Poetry Contest.
She lives in an old school house overlooking the Rondout Creek in Kingston, NY. Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches writing workshops for all ages through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College.