Dominion of Geese

They come out of the lake at dusk

to reclaim the beach from the bathers

and to compose themselves in the wet sand.

They do not speak, nor does the moon

who broods at the water’s edge.

Only in the deep trees the whip-poor-will

still pities himself.


Their bodies are like vessels fashioned

from clay by the hands of young girls,

but they will not be bothered

by our admiration, nor by Mars,

jealous planet, who comes now into our sky,

dark and furious.



From the book, Post-Diagnosis (Ithaca, New York: Firebrand Books, 1995).
Copyright © 1995 by Sandra Steingraber.