We never exactly mean to dawdle
or let the day slip by.
I stopped at the pond for just a moment
to see if the mallards would try
the corn I’d found for them last evening.
I didn’t stay too long.
But times moves slower near to water,
the lazy current strong.
And there are fish to watch in the shallows,
with small new signs of spring:
the green-touched reeds and the willow catkins
like down on a duckling’s wing.
And now I’m hurried, hot and tardy,
with penalties to pay,
returned to the world of busy people
and clocks that keep the day.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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