The last of the geese are out on the lake
in a final circle of open water,
wings folded close to the body,
white breasts bared to the cold.
Beautiful how the sharp black
of the birds' necks arches against
the silver light, sways over
the sheer veneer of glinting ice.
The snow begins, a little, softly,
like a slanting veil falling between
your hands and the birds. You try
to keep what you love close, and yet
you love things that can't help leaving.
The geese are slipping farther from land,
receding into the thickening whiteness.
How distant they are already from home.
How far they are going away from you now.