Bird Poem – Ebbing the Breadth

Ebbing the Breadth Between the Mud and the Moon is a bird poem, a celebration of the wonder of migrating birds and how in a life they travel the distance between the earth and the moon somewhere we cannot see them.

Ebbing the Breadth – Bird Poem

Months of flying gave way to claws thawing 
a greening branch, pushing leaves. We were 
trailing the sun's arms, her fingers pointing to 
tepid soil, the earth laboring lightly, 
and all we had to do is fall into the rays 
for a long pause until the twigs came 
to meet us. When deep within the trunk 
still, they were already choosing 
a velvet robe. They knew we'd be featherlight, 
draped in plums and downs, our bodies 
more weightless than the winds we'd sailed. 
We were arctic tern, godwits 
bar-tailed and not, 
we were cranes and Candian geese, 
we were curlews turning up 
on featureless, tidal mudflats. We've ebbed 
the breadth between the mud and the moon, 
and now our beaks kiss crustaceans one day 
and worms the next 
until the sun's limbs bare flyways, 
and we're bound over.

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Written by Anita Alig

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