Jennifer Poteet

Feeding Geese at Race Point

I sit next to Mary Oliver on a large rock
that faces the water, and I’m amazed she allows it.
We wear identical Red Sox caps
and both of us remove fingerless gloves
to unwrap breakfast sandwiches.
I tear off pieces of bread and toss them
to six geese who stand in wild-haired beach grass.

They prefer corn or seeds
and will eat from your hand,

Mary says. Then she’s silent, and we watch
the gaggle turn their snow-feathered backs,
shunning us. Winter, and we’re just a few feet
from the ocean’s lip: bird-animals and human-animals
perched on the margin of everything.

The sun unfurls over the surf,
and I think out loud:
Do geese wish they were born swans?
Mary answers: Geese want little more
than to wake up a goose
every morning.

Jennifer Poteet lives in Montclair, New Jersey.  Her work has been published recently in the Journal of New Jersey Poets, Swwim, Stillwater Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Paterson Literary Review and others. Her book Sleepwalking Home was published by Dancing Girl Press.  Jennifer’s website is

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Spring 2021