Between the crooked wood slats of the fence,
beneath the hedges of Cecil’s garden,
near the patio table, a goose swoops in,

and everything it can carry—teapot,
cup, pipe, slippers, morning paper, glasses—
it carries all the way to boxes

in an outdoor market down the street,
mixed in as wares. Taste and history are dead.
The cricket bat he scored 300 runs with,

his bronze-medal rose from a local fair,
his favorite cap—all given
the barcodes of oblivion.

Now Cecil sits in emptiness
with cold feet in a cold house
and a thirst for tea in a world

that’s only sometimes water. The only river
belongs to the goose floating
with cold eyes, orange beak

like a traffic cone, honk
of workday commutes,
feathers austere.