Poets for Science
Global Gallery

Sandhill Cranes




The way the world intervenes, catching us

each time unprepared. The cranes stop off


for a few months, like constellations appearing,

except if the stars arrived each year


in fewer numbers, with more not bothering

the long trip from Canada to the campus


where my wife marks essays on long Saturdays.

They descend through the empty atrium,


stalking the open halls like alien schoolchildren.

In her dark classroom, she works by just a lamp


and what February light that makes it through

the bulletproof glass. The way once,


she was startled by a knock at the door,

and found one outside, impatient for her to invite it in


from some strange and other world.