The Geese and The Light

By Roger Sippl


The Geese


The Canadian geese are getting booed
by locals and tourists
from Montauk to Queens
because of the meaning
that flies overhead—
summer is now over.

It’s the week when the children’s camps
all along the East Coast have come to an end,
but school hasn’t started yet,
and so, it’s family week,
when anyone with any connection to Long Island is here,
remembering that the huge squawking Canadian Geese
really do fly from Canada to Florida,
right over New York,
definitively marking the end of the season.

The V-shape of the flock
has the children asking,
“Why do they fly that way?” and,
“How do they know?”

You think about explaining that each bird
feels the up-and-down of the sinusoidal vortex
twirling off the outside wingtip of
the bird ahead and to the side
and each bird adjusts its position
in the formation, constantly,
to ride, just a little, on the up-wash
it senses rolling off its flock-mate.

But then you simply answer,
“Because nature loves a graceful ending.”


The Light

When the sun is low,
whether rising or setting,
its light reflects off the dunes
and the grasses growing up through the top of them,
imprinting all that detail into your eyes.




Roger Sippl studied creative writing at the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at Berkeley (under Thom Gunn) and at Stanford Continuing Studies. He has published poetry in the Ocean State Review, Open Thought Vortex, Her Heart Poetry, Bacopa Literary Review, The Write Launch, Alternating Currents, Sediments Literary-Arts Journal, Smeuse Poetry, Poker Brat, Snapdragon, Wising Up Press, Medussa’s Laugh and two medical journals, JAMA Oncology and CHEST.

He has written his first novel, which is in revision.



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