an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

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Winter 2022-2023

Karen Schulte


After the snow come the geese
down from the sky
knowing where to land
they navigate the flat ice field
searching for small patches
of soaked mud and grass
graze on what they find
fixed on filling their bellies
stop at the wrought iron fence
as though it’s their tipping point
keeping them tethered
between their feeding fields
and an unknown human presence
never venturing past that border—
while the sun moves westward
glows as it dips leaving pools
of coral tint on glazed surfaces
with dusk thickening
some of the geese become watchful
others begin to merge
into shapeless groupings on ground
restless to take the first lift upward
avoid the fence to one side
point south to the marshes and reeds
each following the other
they rise slowly, in uncertain unison
begin their formation, their perfect V
distinct and vanishing
sketched on a darkened canvas
as the day closes down
and they are no longer there.

Karen Schulte is a retired social worker and therapist who began writing in grade school and full time since retirement.  She has had her poetry published in a number of journals and anthologies as well as won awards for them.  Her collection of poetry, Where Desire Settles,” won first place in the Writer’s Digest nationwide contest for a self-published book of poetry in 2017.  Her chapbook, “Black Paper Album,” will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2023.