Sandhill Cranes

Indigo Bunting just wrote about the annual migration of Canada Geese up in Vermont. It reminded me of Adam’s poem about our own seasonal migrations, though down here it’s the Sandhill Cranes instead of geese. It’s the poem I’m most likely to be found performing at poetry readings. I’m just crazy about it.

Once more they fly.
The call comes to me
in colors of the sky,
in hues of the season

so intimate and full of broad sound
I expect their wings
to tangle in my blowing hair
as the seasons roll

I look for them
from the South
in days of expanding light
at the turn of the wheel

I anticipate their flight
from the North
when the nights grow long
I scan the skies.

They are the wings
of the unceasing circle;
seasons follow them
tethered in tow.

They fly out of reach
and fill the sky,
obscure the clouds
wingtip touching wingtip

as comfortable lovers
in the growing dusk,
I can hear them
long before they are in sight.

A faint hint,
a tufted whisper
like a first bud on a winter tree
a faint falling of a solitary yellow leaf.

They come and go
transient, like so much else here,
visiting only briefly the Prairie sands
before going on their way,

becoming again
the invisible landscape
of my path
through the years.

Dynamic in space,
fixed in time,
I live here and await their passing
as part of the order of the land,

a living timetable,
conductors of the year
as much my life as the waning summer rains,
the smoky scent of descending winter.

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Categories: Worthwhile Reading | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Sandhill Cranes

  1. Indeed, here you are performing that very same poem.

    And doing a much better job of it than I could hope. I’m fine with that.

    Of course, we should tell the good people the poem is available with quite of few of its siblings in The Phoenix and the Dragon.

    To find my poem on this blog: I feel like I hit the big time.

  2. indigobunting

    Well, you and Adam definitely think alike. I’m sorry I got confused and didn’t realize his comment was awaiting approval on my blog. Silly moi!

    It’s absolutely gorgeous…

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