For David Ferry
I met some ducklings on their way to somewhere
on the river: three stopping by me calling
to them, my sporadic quacking likely strange
but curiously stopping by
on their way hurriedly anywhere as long as it was
forward, maybe lost and looking
for other ducks, maybe paddling away from other ducks.
Who can know? Only they were very eager in their searching
maybe a little desperate to be stopping by me
on the river speaking poorly their mother tongue.
Was it company they needed? I must have confused them
saying over and over the same phrase so they felt sorry
for me, big broken duck who had forgotten how to speak.
Paddling quickly along they passed me by,
swept along in the current of words,
searching for someone else to talk to on the river.
Joshua Kulseth earned his BA in English from Clemson University, and his MFA in poetry from Hunter College. He is currently a PhD candidate in poetry at Texas Tech University. His poems have appeared and are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, The Emerson Review, The Worcester Review, Rappahannock Review, The Windhover, and others. His book manuscript, Leaving Troy, was shortlisted for the Cider Press Review Publication Competition.