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Poetry

The Pond is Quiet Today

**CAUTION** DO NOT USE WATER FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: SWIMMING AND OTHER WATER CONTACT, FISHING, IRRIGATION, LIVESTOCK WATERING, DRINKING…

Did the green heron see the sign?
Or was he given advanced notice
to vacate his perch on the east side of the pond?

As he left, did he call out to the wood duck brood and mallards?
Warn the turtles, frogs, fish?

“It’s only moderately toxic they say, but I don’t want to take chances.”

(Would you?)

The swan keeps a 40-foot distance, wonders if the chemical floats downstream, wonder if it’s as harmful as the turtle who snapped up her babes last spring.

The northern water snake who often skims across the pond knows not of half-lifes or bioaccumulations.

Nor will the field mouse debate the meaning of practically non-toxic with the bees who remain.


©2022, Poem & Photo by Jen Payne