In the chill of the pondside dawn,
the rushes part and feathered
bundles trundle ashore.
They’re difficult to see in the dim light,
given their formal attire of gray and black,
their great bodies topped like cellos
with long curved necks and headstocks.
They applaud their own entrances
upon the morning stage, great wings
stretching. beating and refolding.
You can hear their humble efforts at
playing like Yo Yo Ma, all squee-unks and chuffs,
yet there’s an enchantment in the echo
and fade of that music.
From each of the itinerant players
comes a greater magic in their voices–
frosty clouds of white, explicit in their
warmth, greeting, calling, community.
Their morning messages form,
then lift to drift and disappear within
the crystalline cloud that slept with them
on the pond last night.
Shortly, the northbound ensemble shoves
off from its marsh moorings, rising in a
ragged, streamered vee, disappearing into the
newly-risen cloud-voices calling it home.
I walked past the spot where Mollie and I saw this story unfold and it’s messed up with construction equipment and half-built concrete buildings. Sigh. That makes me sad. At least I have the vision of this poem to remind me that once we were a way station for those travelers heading to and from their North and South homes.