A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2007, vol 3 no 3

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Victoria Oliver


The Ducks

I sit on the granite block under the dogwood tree and watch the river as it flows by. I am with my friend MJ and we talk idly about work, photography, fishing, and whatever else comes to mind.

Suddenly MJ points at the river and asks: Do you see that?

I think she is referring to a bird that has just flown by, but she says no, look at the other bank.

A family of ducks is making their way down the embankment. There are four in all, two adults and two ducklings. We watch as they slip into the water. One of the adults lags behind, stretching its neck to eat the seeds off the tall grasses that line the river.

Finally they are all in the water and we watch them as they float along with the current. We wonder what it means when they stretch their necks and bob their heads–perhaps that is their way of communicating with each other. I note that the goslings are starting to get white heads. Soon they will be fully grown.

Break time is over and we meander back to our cubicles. Watching the ducks is the highlight of the workday. Perhaps tomorrow they will be there again.

The river flows.
We sit and watch as it
Passes us by.