Feeding Ducks In The Park
I bought two buns from the bakery.
The shop keeper would have thought they were for me.
I had to smile on his wrong assumption
as through park gates I passed
into the green of grass and tree.
On my way down paths, between mown lawns,
I went to see the aviary.
Rare birds from foreign parts,
I studied through wire netting.
Peacocks stamping over gravel
remain in my memory.
In time I turned away,
continued my journey.
The smell of mud and water grew stronger,
the air damper, the closer I came to the boating lake shore,
till they were there, finally,
what I had come for,
some of them resting,
others web footing over wet roots and stones,
the ducks I had come to feed, a pleasure not a chore.
It was freedom, release from routine,
to throw bits of bread to them, chunks of my buns.
I smiled to watch them
squabble and quack over every crumb.
And when my white paper bag was empty,
I sat on a bench, under a tree.
Felt light, at peace, for it was done.
The ducks had come, eaten my buns to the last crumb.
I stood to go, stroll away.
They quacked and waddled after me.
Maybe I will sit there one summer
when my hair is grey and my legs are numb,
and smile on the memory of when I was younger
and I spent an afternoon feeding ducks in the park.
If I had nothing much else to do,
and blew loud on a kazoo,
I could almost sound like you,
ducks stalking rudely after me.
Where did you learn to be heartless?
Who taught you to be cold?
Cry to drain the darkness from your eyes,
try and haul back what you have sold.
I say to those who think and speak
from a negative root.
I prefer rough winds in an anorak
to stale air in a suit.
Cheerful times, things done for a lark,
like feeding ducks in the park.