Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cranes on the Platte

Smoke coils and unwinds in a sunset sky, separates

into wings, long feet trailing way behind. Wings and cries crowd the sky.

If there is another time, tell me about it some other time.

They come in one by one, in pairs and threes and fours.

They come in by thousands, survivors of ice ages,

pterodactyls and oceans dried to sand. They are as old as stone.

They are life on wing. They live on the edge

of winter, flying from Mexico to Siberia. Stopping only here.

They mate for life and lay two eggs a year.

Time is change they say, change is always, change is now.

If there is another time, let it wait.

In the morning they stretch their wings in the cold sun and dance.

They chatter hoot and cluck. Now, they say, now.

Their whoop rises and stops to take a breath,

And they are off, rising, a million wings beating the air into a roar,

crying, singing, taking us out of our past and away from our graves,

their cry rings now, now, now. Singing now

is all the time we have. Now is all the time there is.