Monday, 10 December 2012

By The West River

By The West River

In Island fields the donkeys guard
the new-born lambs and calves
from coyotes.
Stubby, grey with trumpet ears on heavy heads,
they munch the thistle heads
and clover.
There’s one that’s different from the herd,
solitary in the weeds before a
derelict home.
He’s mute and deaf, he does not move,
gazing at the salt marsh of
West River.
Where herons stalk and cormorants
hang their wings to dry in
summer’s breeze.
Where eels are trapped in wooden cul-de-sacs
as geese skein down to rest before the
winter ice.
He’s burdened with a pannier which never
leaves his back, unknown cargo going
nowhere fast.
His coat is weathered to a patchwork,
white and red and lichen yellow; a
missing ear.
Yet there’s calmness in this beast of beauty.

Bryan D. Cook  Ottawa, December 2012

Context for By the West River
I just could not get this image out of my head; the donkey is always there on my drive from Nine Mile Creek to Cornwall P.E.I., just before the West River Bridge. Thanks to Pearl Pirie for some valued editorial suggestions.

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