Ellie and I take Donnie, Leo, Noelle and Roland
to the college for the noon day concert.
We get there early and walk around the pond
and the ducks swim toward us looking for bread.
All we give them is a song, The one little duck
with the feather on his back, he led the others
with a quack, quack, quack.
There’s a group coming from the other direction
and they’re like a mirror image of us –
a friendly young man with downs syndrome
high fives Donnie, two staff push people
in wheelchairs, an elderly man shuffles and repeats,
Warm, warm, and a tiny woman holding up a yellow purse
beams, I got it at the Christmas Tree Shop.
The staff don’t shout, remember circles,
but greet us with where you from?
And beautiful day, eh? Everyone gets to talk
and I don’t hear anyone telling anyone else
what’s appropriate and what’s not.
After a couple of minutes we negotiate four people
in wheelchairs passing on the sidewalk, wave
and say, see ya.
Donnie starts walking off with a college girl
and I jump and steer him away with a joke
about her being too young for him,
and during the concert Noelle does her noise
with her lips, BBBppp… every time there’s a quiet
part in the piano concerto. But all in all,
it’s a pretty good field trip.