Restoring a duck decoy
By Grayce Scholt
I touch acrylic paint to neck, to wing
following my father’s curve of knife, of brush;
I daub an even falser life on this that sixty years before
bobbed Judas-like on a Lake Erie bay
and living wings would swoop to join
the silent flock– Bang!
My father’s gun would spit, and
dying wings would drop
into that split between two worlds.
When he came home, his jacket bulging
with his prize, he’d lay the ducks
before my wondering eyes
and all I felt was his immensity.
He’d grumble some about the limit, ten,
about the ninety dollars rent he’d paid for marsh.
He’d tell of how his father shot a hundred in one day
when thousands darkened gray Ohio’s flyway.
And then he’d scald them, pluck them,
sort the down, and tack the wings he liked
high up on the coal bin door.
You silent quacker sitting on my bench,
you are that time long ago
when my strong man
would rise up out of blind,
strike down living flesh for me,
and in my innocence
I’d cry for pride,
not death, not pity,
but for pride.
Grayce Scholt is a retired English professor from Mott College who wrote art reviews for the Flint
Journal. Her book of poetry, Bang! Go All the Porch Swings, is available online from Amazon. A
personal narrative of the poet’s life in Europe in the early 1950s, Vienna,Only You, is available at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The author’s new book of poems, Night Song, is available from Friesen