‘Please mum, give me some more!’
Duckling demands, shadowing its parents
as they forage for snacks
around the old millpond’s
Meanwhile, siblings catch some shut-eye
on a long-discarded traffic cone
half-buried in mud and algae;
a streak of neon orange
and reflector tape
distinguishing it from old branches.
Across the way, another family
swims into view.
Coots and their young, nipping
into willow scrub and reeds,
scouting for food of their own.
An unsuspecting moorhen paddles by,
concerned with its own needs –
until it receives a peck from Mrs Coot:
‘Maintain your distance from my chicks,
if you please, sir!’
she declares with her mighty
sending it scarpering elsewhere
along the creek.
Positioned on a central reed bed,
two lengthy white necks look up
from their wicker-like nest
and single bundle
of grey, fluffy joy.
Ah, another row between neighbours.
Best to leave them to it.
‘Come on, junior. Let’s visit
the youngest ducklings
by the pond’s fringe,’
they say, and swim off
on a family outing; breezy, soft clouds
protecting a touch of rain.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!
[Apologies for how these poems are formatted. I do write them in stanzas, but WordPress rarely decides to keep them, no matter how much I argue with it.]