States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Moorhen at Black Mountain Peninsula' by Lesley Lebkowicz

Five ducks are standing
on a narrow strip of concrete

designed to ease boats into the water.
They have their backs to me;

even so, at the sound of my steps,
they slide into the lake.

A moorhen rises up and
onto the concrete.

She raises the dark wedge of her tail
and shits a neat soft gleaming pile

then steps towards me
small yellow beak leading the way

like a dainty beacon. I yearn
for things to be so simple:

eat, shit, swim, sleep.
She’s plump and round and her tail

lifts and falls erratically as she walks,
head to one side:

Have you brought food?
Now there is only the moorhen

& the sweet shell of mind and body
watching. The hen dives into the lake and

emerges inside a soft cage of overhanging willows.

Lesley Lebkowicz