I saw three ships

I saw three ships

in the short afternoon light of Christmas Eve,
I walk to the shore carrying stale bread
to break with my fellow creatures

stirring in the dry winter grass,
sounds of the north winds greeting
while snow, still white in the hidden places of the wood,
is hushed and etched with tracks of rabbit and fox

three tiny ducks paddle across the cove
to share in the rite of our communion-
shyly accepting that which is freely given

brushing the crumbs from my gloves,
I watch the three feathered bodies
sail away
into the twilight of Christmas Eve
then turning to the setting sun,
I take the path back home