In Flight

 

The ancients would augur the spinning filament of the Fates 
       in the flights of birds.
Pausing to watch, at the brink of the sea,
       or over wooded places,
       or above our unlevitated human dwellings,
I can nearly ken their cryptic truth.

Like a prisoner,
       straining to discern a code of taps
       on the cruel, intimate wall,
I watch a heron
       beat twice her great grey wings,
       glide above the impenetrable mangrove,
       stretch her neck and trail her impossible legs
       in perfect symmetry.
The Moment detaches itself from the busy thoroughfare of time
       and gazes at me solemnly
       keeping mute.

The forms of frigate birds,
       angled narrow wing and scissor tail,
       are mystic runes
       incised upon the sky.
I watch until my neck hurts and my eyes water,
       and, fleetingly, I almost understand.


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