Six Canada Geese

For Franette

What I remember is an April morning
after the rains, a bitter, clear sky,
and you in your red parka tramping

through the marsh at Molera,
while a hundred yards behind, collar turned,
gloves on, I tried to keep up, following

your white hair bright as any flame
in that cold light, when suddenly six
Canada geese swooped in from the levee behind,

rising over and dropping down so close
I could hear the whirr of each wing stroke,
almost touch their underbellies overhead

as they honked and sailed toward you
and your raised hand. I stood there
until they disappeared beyond the trees,

then walked your way through the muck.
But nine years later I still remember this,
how earlier I had begrudged your penchant

for such treks, until I drew close, and you
merely winked. This, your old eyes
glimmered, is what you would have missed.

Now what do you think?