Poem by Wynne Morrison
Going by the pond
My father stops here on his way back home,
still covered in the dry dirt of the field.
This time last year the spillway ran half full,
becoming home to frogs and water bugs,
and minnows seeking safety from the bream.
He looks down at the water line. It’s dropped
another foot below the rim. The cattle
finally choose to stumble in, their necks
stretched to the dirt-brown water far below.
He wondered if the geese would come this year,
but they still found their way. A green heron
the geese tried to chase away has settled at
the far side of the pond. My father sits
a while, watching the birds. When he stands,
he reaches up to brush away the dust.
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Wynne Morrison is a physician practicing pediatric critical care and palliative care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she holds the Justin Michael Ingerman Endowed Chair. She is a Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her published work focuses on ethics, end-of-life care, and poetry.
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