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
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,
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.