Charles Harper Webb
Never Too Late
Doves flute in peeling eucalyptus trees.
Rain pit-pit-pits off lance-point leaves,
and pings into expanding bullseyes
on Descano Pond. Red-wings ride
bucking tules at the water’s edge.
Beside them, still as a decoy, a mallard
rests—emerald pate, brass chest,
pewter sides. Another paddles by,
leaned forward as if pulled on a string.
Roses twitch their yellow heads.
A cottontail pogos away as mossbacked
cooters periscope the pond’s scum-crust.
Purple irises bend as if to drink
when the wind gusts. A school
of bluegills shadow me. The baking-soda
submarine I flushed in 1963
surfaces: full-sized, blowing
like a whale. The crew flash V for Victory.