Not a matter of movement, but of necessity,
the migrants pass by, shadows on the moon
that connect constellation with constellation,
the midnight’s black made bright with their cries.
Or silent as the sea holding its breath at tide’s turn
come the lines of birds, wings sewing the sea down,
brant and loon stitching south and north into one Earth,
gathered each into the seam of its own direction.
March and the dawn Sun opens its golden feathers.
An oriole returns, his harsh song silver to other ears
and the cottonwood takes the part of this prodigal
its leaves nodding their assent in the least breeze.
The whales travel along the unseen rails of the sea.
The young grays riding on the discovery of dawn,
humbacks and blue breach in the summer channels
bowing to the engines of change that drive them.
And the pulse of migration beats with lemon wings.
The sulphurs’ irregular parallels cross the hills.
They come, flickering Suns over blacktopped streets,
day after day, enigmatic lines that do not meet.
The migrants themselves are but shades of darkness,
driven into the berry fields, scarcely seen, go unheard,
become the cursed shapes bobbing in the heat of noon.
Unwanted, these scorned men, these migrant women.