Spring Inventory, Lake Monona

A flotilla of mallards treading ice water
a muskrat sliding in on its belly
pair of scaups
pair of shovelers
the distant white of a bufflehead
only one coot today
A couple of common loons
that flick their wings above the water line
almost touching their own reflection

Christmas tree skeleton pushed against the shore
a chorus of red-winged blackbirds
a wedge of geese raining honks
the clatter of sandhill cranes
An old man in his winter coat
knit cap and mittens
hovers in a Tai Chi pose

And a sad-eyed black dog looking for last week’s ice
where he used to run with his ears back
and his face to the wind

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