I was impressed
the normally heedless traffic
for a second stopped, unprompted
—some goslings crossing.

I think we all feel a little raw about that.

It was likely the same mother goose
I passed on my bike the other day.
She had hissed at me—
geese eat and shit green
but her tongue was bubblegum pink.

Sorry. I didn’t want to be there either,
the median of a busy road—
the world as they know it.
Wasn’t there a couple more of them?

It’s the timing… I cried to see
downy, blonde feathers
roll like a tumbleweed on the road.
There’s no sign, “Slow, Goose X-ing” here.
We might tell ourselves
that’s the best we can do to keep you safe.

About the Poem

Considering some graduate studies in Elementary Education, I told a friend that I had a (probably) irrational fear of school shootings. The next day, reports of the Uvalde, Texas shooting broke. I saw these geese the next morning.

We’re urged to consider these events as exceptional– what’s truly dark is that for this generation, they’ve already become a facet of everyday life in the US.

About the Author

Sam Watson writes from Aurora, Colorado. See also the moniker Gummylung, for music, illustrations, and other writings from the author.

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