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Poetry Month: "Duck"

April is National Poetry Month, and to mark the occasion we'll be sharing some of our favourite poems from collections we've published over the years. Today's poem is "Duck" by Patricia Young from the collection Amateurs at Love.

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by Patricia Young

The old men didn’t know the duck was a duck. Afflicted with
cataracts and glaucoma, they assumed she was just another remotecontrol
boat puttering around the pond across from their retirement
home. The men operated their toys — miniature replicas of Second
World War ships — from the sidelines, manoeuvring them around
lily pads and torpedoes, plastic cups and enemy submarines. If the
duck wasn’t paying attention she might collide with a U-boat or
bump beak to wayward prow. Day after day she paddled in leisurely
circles, invisible to the men manipulating their controls and singing
the heart-swelling songs they once sang in raucous dance halls.
Only the very young with diamond-sharp eyes could perceive the
duck’s downy plumage as she crossed the shallow waters mined
with devil’s bit and wild iris.

Grab your own copy of Amateurs at Love by Patricia Young here, or check out the rest of our poetry collection here.

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