Poetry / September 2012 (Issue 18)

A Scholar Instructs a Goose

by Richard K. Kent

On an anonymous Chinese photograph, ca. 1930s

At the garden's end, the long-robed scholar,
fingers raised, is forever instructing the goose,

which looks back with willful, beady eye.
The old man knows it's useless but still he goes

on trying. How else? For all these years
the two of them paired like this.
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