by Alexander Dove Lempke


Left to their own devices,

the goldfish are not all gold.

The smaller ones, born to this life,

flitter ungilded, dark

in the dark brim of the pond.


The heron is a lost jockey,

riding his own white wings,

inscribed with sheet music,

across the wet stage

with its fence of black trees.


Where the city rings the park,

which rings the cold fence

around the willow-centered pond,

these ripples, drawn reversed,

tighten towards their source;


and the sooty glacier of space

with its white pickets unglimpsed

surrounds all this, a black blob

where a heedless hand has written

the red word, “pond.”

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