The Pasture Pool
And trims the edges of the pasture pool;
It's midweek, but a Sunday silence hangs
The children have gone back again to school.
I miss the chatter of their college talk,
Their happy laughter made the whole farm gay
Yet something comforts me that's kind of strange
The first wild ducks lit on the pool today.
It's foolish-like, but when the children go,
The ducks wing in across their southern track;
I like to think they're hostages I hold,
And when they go, the children will fly back.
There in the pasture pool they seem to feel
It's safe to rest a bit from gun and foe
(Father would grant the hunters their request,
But I get cross . . . I like to tell them "No.")
All winter through, the vagrant flocks wheel in
To find the corn I scatter by the shore;
Way-worn and cold, they huddle close and rest
To gather strength for their long flight once more
When smartweed-pink shall cloud the apple tree
The ducks wheel north across the world's blue dome
They call to me "Good-bye, good friend, good-bye,
We leave you, but the children shall come home!"
Edited by May William Ward
(New York: Henry Harrison. 1935)