The Birds of Winter

I walk outside, to a chill in the air –
I look up in the silence and see
rock doves in a gathering, pulling against the sky.
They are so near, I can hear
the music of their wings.

I drive under a tall street lamp, as the sun is going down –
I see a hawk, fixed and attentive,
staring across a green field.
I know, even in stillness, she is hunting
with hungry eyes that open wider

as the light fades.

I cross over the causeway –
all the birds of winter fly across the sky:
geese over the sunset marsh, plowing the air,
a Great Blue Heron winging her way alone,
first one Great White Egret, then another.

Never without an angel, never without a song,
never alone in an orange twilight
or in the dark before dawn –
who has seen what I have seen,
or known this mystery?





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