Prayer to a Migrating Bird

Migrating geese in the sky, seen near the pitch pine.

You are a teacher for a time like this—

you who claim more than one home,

navigating each season by the compass

of yearning planted within your DNA

You know your destinations, no stranger

—I have heard it said—you return always

to the very sedges from which you depart.

You are a teacher for a people like this—

we who hesitate to claim any home,

yearning always, contrary wisdoms planted

like magnets in the dark, stretching

our souls across miles and languages

—strange cries echo in our throats—

tearing our arms apart with reaching.

You are a teacher for a journey like this—

your rhythms carry me through long stretches

in the white winter of my perennial flight

I remember there are seasons for departing

and returning, homes we locate by yearning

—planted like polar gravities in the wind—

your silent languages cry to my wandering wings.

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