I have never seen coots land
or take to the air;
suddenly, they are just there,
nervous and skittish,
clumped into a black bloom.
At both ends of winter,
an entire community of them,
joined at the hip,
uses the lake and its bay as
a fueling station.
Like bobbers on the surface,
one after another
they disappear, as if gulped
from underneath,
and their absence persists
until the water heals.
Never exposing a glimpse
of attached wing,
these bookends of winter
can always be
counted on to pop up again.


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