Oh cranes, what am I
to you, who in your intrepid
languor lay upon the air,
black-tipped for measure; who,
cruciform and of a singular mind,
gather above all turbulence, driven
as if all sorrows, slim as your necks,
and just as sinuous, spill
from your pinions as lift for the next —
what am I to you,

This nail, driven in and shadowed.
I could hope, on the most cloudless
of sunsets, the gray half me may serve,
being longer than I (this half),
foreshortened beneath you,
as some small navigation — the pin
of a dial presumed in arrogant dismay.
But that would be too much, too much,
too much to ask of cranes, who
in their imperative leisure, driven

To a wintering — some known
marshland, south and verily imbued,
may trail through the sky some ribbon
of love tapered off, so that I too
may crest above it all.

Image: U.S. Department of AgricultureFlickr: 20110214-USDA-JN-0001

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