Meditation on birds near nightfall

Near last light, no sounds but the breeze

through leaves in the sycamores.

Above, there's a sudden curve of birds -

crows - dark against the blue white

sky. As they pass, their wings slip through

air - the sound of skin brushing skin.

Five, now six, heavy vultures rise

upon thermals edging a spring front.

A few falcons, smaller, glide among them.

They're different. Stream-lined.

The quick angle of wing. Slendered bodies

that thin down to tails fanned open

to catch the current. They follow the warm,

circling on flows, while down here, evening

cool is coming. It's a final call from winter,

miles north now, that grows and spirals through

dark saying listen, until light's too little

to see. Settled, even the songbirds fall silent.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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