Walking The Marshland by Stephen Dunn
It was no place for the faithless,
so I felt a little odd
walking the marshland with my daughters,
Canada geese all around and the blue
herons just standing there;
safe, and the abundance of swans.
The girls liked saying the words,
egret, whooping crane, and they liked
when I agreed. The casinos were a few miles
to the east.
I liked saying craps and croupier
and sometimes I wanted to be lost
in those bright
windowless ruins. It was April,
the gnats and black flies
weren't out yet.
The mosquitoes hadn't risen
from their stagnant pools to trouble
paradise and to give us
the great right to complain.
I loved these girls. The world
awaited their beauty and beauty
is what others want to own.
I'd keep that
to myself. The obvious
was so sufficient just then.
Blackbird. "Yes," I said.
But already we were near the end.
I thought. Praise whatever you can.