they return in massive flights
to icy tundras of the Arctic wastes,
settling down to nest on open patches
where the snow has given vagrant way
to the reluctant thaw of spring.
The goose lays eggs upon the matted growth,
sits to hatch them with her body's warmth
and with a stoic patience, days on end,
the gander watching for the prowling fox
that circles the confines unceasingly.
Sometimes, for lack of fitting space,
the eggs are laid beyond the nesting site
and in the snow they crack into a wasted state
(save for the hungry predatory fox,
who rushes to preserve the chain of things).
It is an irony that new-laid eggs
crack out of time when left alone in snow,
yet under the maternal weight of days
will thrive invariably towards essential life
until the shell is broken in the rush to be.