The black, bereft trees huddle close together
against the cold of the Winter weather
like smoky refugees from the London Blitz
or those on trains nearing soot-strewn Auschwitz.
The banker tired of the noisy geese in his lake, so he ordered his groundskeeper to scatter poisoned bread bits among the shoals. He then waited inside his mansion, occasionally glancing at his silver pocketwatch and enjoying his weekend leisure time. The next day the geese were all dead, their bodies floating lifeless upon the water. Satisfied, he strolled around the lake, breathing in the fresh Alpine air as it rebuffed the stench of the dead geese. Suddenly, another flock of geese came swooping down and settled upon the lake, ignoring the limp bodies as they relaxed upon the water. Seeing this, the banker laughed, shrugged, and fingered his silver pocketwatch. The glass face of the watch shimmered like the face of the lake. The watch was of German make, dated to 1939. A Star of David was inscribed on the inside of the cover. The Swiss banker was not Jewish. He turned to his groundskeeper and gestured toward the living geese floating undisturbed among the dead ones.
“How alike we are,” he said. “They never overlook an opportunity.”