Down in the abandoned duck blind, the mallards
heard the warning and battened themselves.
There is not so much as a crow in sight
and there’s never not a crow in sight.
You could almost imagine the eagles had made
their way back to the endangered species list
and the herons had decided to go hungry.
But the gulls were born and bred to these swirling gusts
and as I stand watch on my third floor balcony,
a group of seventeen swerve a curve off my right shoulder
and bank low so I have their backs and the dorsum
of their wings and they are whiter than doves,
whiter than angels in their unison turning of thermals.
If Mark Morris choreographed birds, he’d have made
this phrase of movement and costumed it stark white
against a boiling dark backdrop just like this
and Busby Berkeley, infinite balconies above mine
would stand up, multiply himself by four dozen
and give Mark a kaleidoscopic ovation
while I, no greater than a glass chip wedged
in a microscopic corner of the turning windscope,
would join in the deafening applause.