A miscellaneous screaming that comes from nowhere
Raises the eyes at last to the moonward-flying
Squadron of wild-geese arcing the spatial cold.
Beyond the hunter's gun or the will's range
They press southward, toward the secret marshes
Where the appointed gunmen mark the crossing
Of flight and moment. There is no force stronger
(In the sweep of the monomaniac passion, time)
Than the will toward destiny, which is death.
Value the intermediate splendor of birds.


Listen to a recording of this poem being read by James Longenbach.