The Big Pond
It was a stuffy afternoon
and I watched them from my classroom window,
their little feet slapping on the concrete
as they waddled back and forth across the playground.
Their progress was slow;
every so often one would falter and the whole group
would have to stop, turn, and waddle back
to help them pick up their PE kit
or gallop around, chasing stray sheets of homework in the wind.
The mallard walked on his own
a lone ranger, oblivious to the wide eyes
flickering in his direction.
Their judgements slid from his oily feathers in great drops.
They arrived in an inferno of quacking
each leaving a little trail of mulch and leaves
with every step.
Except for the mallard,
who kept a wary distance and a round black eye
on his surroundings.
They roosted at their tables,
setting out pencil cases, exercise books and bottles of water,
making their nest for the next hour
a comfortable one.
The mallard settled himself at the back
where he could watch them all from a safe distance.
I don’t like to like walking
I don’t enjoy the views,
or the wind flapping invisible ribbons
against my face
and swirling my hair into an enormous tumbleweed.
I don’t enjoy the silence
or the time it gives me to put my thoughts in order
as we walk, one foot in front of another, saying nothing
and that being sufficient.
I don’t enjoy the company
and the preciousness of a moment
stolen from the lives of some other people
who enjoy that sort of thing.
I don’t enjoy the words that can only be said here
and left in leafy thickets
trapped like flies on a web.
( Kristy Keller is a new writer from Cheltenham who has previously had work published in Balloons Literary Journal.)
The Beautiful Space-