THIS SPRING by Raymond Byrnes

A dear but distant friend sent me

the link to a camera on the Platte

that captures, live, during sunset,


upwards of 100,000 cranes

returning from far fields to roost

midstream on sandbar sanctuaries.


Countless chains of gliding shadows

cross a red bandana sky, swing 

back, hover, drop, safe in numbers.


How astonishing to see so many birds

becoming islands in a river while I, far

removed, anticipate a virus flocking in.


Last April, I saw songbird silhouettes

fly across a bright midnight moon,

counted shad on underwater video


heard the first redwing trill from branches

high above a parkland pond. How strange

it feels to fear the next migration.

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