no tension in the shoulders, neck

loose, placid as a dead cow

it would take a greased sledge and three men

to haul you through the beach grass

but no real struggle down the dune

how tractable, how calm, we

want the waves and

migration easy as boneless thigh meat

all fat trimmed and skinless

when we slide into the water

no skimming required

that’s how we want our birds:

necks flexible, eager

for water no matter how roiling

we must submerge, so

listen, keep all limbs trussed

knees creaking, but you only

have to do it once

in the loveliest shape

crouch, tend the nest