Yuletide Mallards

it’s two days after christmas
the lake still isn’t frozen
all the ducks have flown away
i don’t know if that’s poignant
months ago they all knew what to do
caught each other eyes and squawked and then flew
down to the south in a big flying v
but i can’t tell ducks from geese
all the families driving northward
with their poorly parceled presents
checks and cards in hallmark wrapping
and gift receipts by the dozen
months ago they all knew what to do
they ran out of time to buy gifts for me and you
now they’re stepping on the gas to tap their toes in lines
next year they swear they’ll shop online
some colder day
we’ll own this whole lake and every building
we’ll reconvene
and run dry of reasons to leave
make our florida this retreat
all these people i see yearly
at this former place of worship
talking migratory patterns
drawing lines in the bean dip
months ago they all knew what to do
they practiced all their pleasantries and stories through and through
fill up on the christmas ales to try hard to ignore
the the strangers cuddling in the corner
some colder day
we’ll own this whole lake and every building
we’ll reconvene
and run dry of reasons to leave
make our florida this retreat
dedicate this little palace
argue over who was chosen
turkey hats and golden rules
get upset and go watch frozen
months ago we all knew what to do
dusted off our stories and hid some out of view
buttoned on some better shirts to hide our snarky tees
and talk about the state of greenery
some colder day
we’ll own this whole lake and every building
we’ll reconvene
and run dry of reasons to leave
make our florida this retreat