Restoring a duck decoy

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, 

and god-like 

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 The author’s new book of poems, Night Song, is available from Friesen

Press ( and Amazon.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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