Signs and Wonders

I don’t believe in signs and wonders

other than those I have invented,

a feature of imagination, one case in point, a

ponderous curiosity about

sand hill cranes, on an October Saturday morning,

in the thousands and for hours,

in droves one after the other, pausing,

circling back as if at some

critical juncture in their

migration, lingering

just above my house.

I could feel at once the arc

from Nebraska to New Mexico

along the Platte River watershed, they,

breeding bound til death,

raising and weening chicks to winged freedom,

released upward within this

rattling constellation slung across the sky.

Wintering here then summering there,

born and gone in twenty years

having etched a line through blues and grays in each.

For what I was witnessing, for

the stirring within me

I thought there might be some local coverage, or a

giddy gathering of expectant binoculared watchers,

a flourish of tweets, posts, pics,

none.

Perhaps a poet, a photojournalist, a painter,

a newspaper man,

a crazy hippie or two,

not one.

From the isolation of a simple joy

I expected to see, at least

a friend or neighbor, arriving in haste,

not bothering to close the

car door but running

to the meadow,

to stand alongside,

to fall quiet but for breathing,

enraptured,

to watch,

to listen, and

to read the sign of the

sandhill crane. But

no one came, and

I wondered.

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