Tilting the Universe

Birds die every day,
so many things do,
dreams, people, pets,

we can’t save them all,

but once in awhile,
we step outside
our passive sorrow,
to forestall the inevitable.


The duck was clearly in pain,
in imminent peril,
a fishing hook gouged his neck,
one end coming out the front,
the other out the side,

four intrepid friends
jumped into action,
employing wire cutters and a firm grasp,
they calmed and saved a frightened bird,

a steady hand clipped the curved hook,
another pulled out the straight end,
a third held the duck close
before easing it to the ground,
a fourth held her camera steady
to capture its joyous freedom flight,

it was quite a sight
seeing it soar into the evening sky.


Birds die every day,

but in that moment,
on that day,
four friends
eased one duck’s suffering,
while also tipping the universe
in a slightly more positive direction.

Poem by Rita Bourland Photos by Estelle Boyaka
Duck rescue at Sunny 95 Pond by Tanya Willett, Regina Goetz, Rick Calendine and Estelle Boyaka

6 responses

  1. The perfect team — rescuers, photographer, and you, the poet and recorder of courageous heroes. And, of course, the brave duck. Beautiful words to encourage positive tilting of the universe toward balance.

    1. Thank you, Judy. Let’s all keep tilting the universe in the ways we can.

  2. Happy thoughts on a successful rescue. Intrepid friends! Love the photos.

    1. Thank you, Maureen. They are, indeed, intrepid friends!

  3. Thank you, dear Rita, for adding positivity to an otherwise distressing world reality day.

    1. Thank you, Ellen. You never fail to add positivity to each day!

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