Equinox + Duck

This day, when eggs can stand and balance on their own
requires the courage to reconcile contradictions:

dim mornings as the sun shifts south pulling
warblers in its path, brown weasels’ thick fur

growing white, green squash gone gold,
new corn shucked from a withered stalk.

The silver iris re-blooms, its June fragrance
a living ghost.


The nun slips off her convent shoes and wades
the brook. Cold water shocks her feet.

A brown mallard dabbles for weeds.
Brood grown and gone, she shakes off

obligation, unwittingly
flinging drops of water on the nun

who watches the duck flap-flap up—up!
and feels her own large creaky wings unfold.

— Sara Backer


Sara Backer has a new book of poetry, Such Luck (Flowstone Press), and two poetry chapbooks: Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press) and Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork). Recent and forthcoming poem publications include Bamboo Ridge, Crannóg, Qu, Nonbinary Review, The Pedestal, Moria, Noble/ Gas Qrtly, Tar River Review and Gargoyle. Web: sarabacker.com.

Editor’s Notes: The “Nun by Lily Pond” photo was commissioned by a Mrs Walsh of Catherine Street, Waterford, October6, 1926 and a female American Black Duck in flight (photograph by the U.S.F.W.S.) are both re-colorized and enhanced with contrast and transparency effects.

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