Twenty Geese

Straight from the textbook 
that formation of twenty geese 
takes thirty seconds to glide 
overhead towards the specific compass 
point imprinted in the sky. 
Even their honking is preordained. 
We follow their last echoes towards home 
the way Vikings followed a hungry raven 
on a starless night. 
The weft and dew of the grass 
through which we trudge 
along our own well-worn towpath, 
our formations also trailing 
the predictable pattern. 
Old story book formula. 
The same middle. 
The same end. 


Mark O’Flynn is an Australian writer. His third collection of poems What Can Be Proven was published by Interactive Press in 2007. His novel, Grassdogs, was published by Harper Collins in 2006. He has also published reviews, articles and short fiction in a wide range of journals and magazines. He lives in the Blue Mountains.

‘Twenty Geese’ was written while on a writing residency in Ireland.