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November 13, 2017

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An Ode to Max and KB

May 18, 2016


Max and KB keep busy

burrowing their bills

into the marshes

into the wet grasses

seeking slugs and bugs,

any live protein and the occasional grain,

a rhythm of waddle in the slough and the stream,

an ongoing chatter of murmur meets cluck,

a half-quack soundscape of low-key grunts

acknowledging satisfaction

in the spillway and between the pines.


This hybrid Muscovy/Indian Runner pair 

of ducks have mastered the art of ritual

begin their day at dusk

with a dramatic glide to the center 

of the pond where they sleep until dawn,

awaken with a bath: a rigorous head dive and full-body shake,

head dive and wing flap, head dive and tail shake, head dive and glide

to the sunny shore to preen their feathers

rigorously, meticulously, turning their heads exorcist style

until their oily sheen gleams iridescent.

Then they dabble their beaks in the mud for a quick breakfast,

check in with the goats and the food pans

before their morning meditation in the pines.


Soon the geese fly overhead and Max and KB sprint full waddle

quacking loudly at the sky. On good days, the geese fly in

for a dramatic, full glide-and-slide-wingspan-landing on the pond

to the full-volume acclaim of their biggest fans

who quickly join them and follow them around

for a game of duck duck goose goose more geese.

And then it’s back to the daily work of foraging

the pond, the mud, the marshes, the stream, the slough, the spillway

side by side, Max and KB stay busy

in that low-quacking satisfaction

way of the waddles and the wagging tails

making their way back to the shade of the pines

where they tuck their beaks into their feathers and sleep until dinnertime

and then, right on schedule, they repeat

their dramatic glide into the dusk

these predictable and glorious

inseparable ducks

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