Migration


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Maybe it is time

for nothing more

than watching the sky for songbirds

who, sensing change in their bones,

and photoperiods measured without measure,

navigate the darkness, gather

in murmurations over dawn’s grain-fields,

lite in your backyard Katsura

just as buds are breaking

you open.

They know this garden, this tree,

though they are fledglings

and have never been here before.

They will stay and build nests

without the terror of forgetfulness. Each time

you will feel their arrival like a revelation,

like the severing of marrow from bone.

You will watch

as they brood over curved shells

impervious to their own weight.

You will listen

as young emerge

with their long and relentless questions.

Maybe you are waiting

for this impossibility; small travellers

who do not ask why

and take to the air for weeks,

arriving, somehow.

You learn 40-60 percent do not survive.

You imagine their soft bodies dropping

like bombs onto roof tops, highways, into rivers

and gardens like yours, muscle memory

fading in their folded wings,

their last thought of the lights

they hurdle toward.

LAE2017

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2 thoughts on “Migration

  1. What a strong, wise and beautiful poem. Have you tried a version in longer lines, to let the bird wings flow through the lines rather than the ceremonial human voice? I sense an inspiring music.

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