Poets for Science
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Sandhill Cranes

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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.