artwork for Peter Krumbach's poem Geese

Peter Krumbach

Someone had stolen our geese.
We should have known this
was the quarter where things
vanish. We reacted by buying
more geese. Kept them by the dead
tree and the cinder block wall.
Those geese got stolen too.
Very well, you said. We bought
a fence. And new geese. Erected
the fence around the geese. This
worked. Meantime, our bicycles
got stolen. Then our doorbells, hall
lights, parts of the railing and stairs.
The geese hissed through the fence.
We drank tea. Felt for the thieves.
One could sense they were old. Some
left their teeth. The police had bigger
fish to fry. The day the landlord raised
our rent again, someone stole our geese
and the fence. It was the season
of floods, so men stole the punt
our neighbor kept on the roof.
Three cops sipping coffee knocked
on our door, asked whether we’d seen
their cruiser. The Seventh-day Adventists
stood stunned by the sudden absence
of their shoes. What I’m trying to say is
it felt good. Like warming up
to a free fall, once you know there is
no ground.

Peter Krumbach’s Comments

“Geese” first appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal. Although this piece is predominantly about people, I have a sweet spot for domestic geese. They are basically blue-collar swans. One of the things I admire about them is that they have no shame. They’ll shit right in front of you.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 60 | Fall/Winter 2022