One would expect grackles
or crows, purple necks stretched out
in the backstreet gloom, fluttering
from dumpster to chain-link fence.
But here come the wayward geese
fanning out over asbestos shingles
landing flat-footed on the parking lot
in an artful unraveling fuss.
Across the street on a low roof
hangs a six-foot American flag
strung antenna to chimney, a faded
feathered Indian painted over its stars.
Dim lights line the street.
A storefront window is stacked with boxes.
The window above is open, a curtain
swept back against the white wall.
And at the crossing, a freight train slows,
shuffles the geese. They poke the asphalt,
stretch and shudder, rise to travel
the yellow sky. I’m breathlessly late for work.