Misplaced Landscape With Sandhill Cranes
Out of place, like a
cyclist on a winter road
at dusk, two cranes bend then straighten
their bony legs
stepping over rows of thick brown stalks,
a chopped corn field touched with snow.
Beside them, a flooded
ditch, iced-over; so they eat gleaned
corn, a deer mouse,
and a lost half-frozen woolly bear.
farmlands stretch for miles, but the cattle have been called in.
the cranes, dusky in this light, graze. I’m used to Currier
Ives landscapes with stocky turkeys emerging
from the woods
to scratch and peck a living under
the old apple trees. In
these parts, meandering turkey flocks
sometimes hold up traffic
on the rural highways.
But these cranes are far from the road, easy
miss, despite being tall as the surrounding fence posts.
and large-framed, they’re graceful for all their angles and bones.
graceful, because when I stop pedaling to be part
spare brushstrokes of this oriental winter scene,
take off, taking the whole world away with them.
With ease, their legs bend then straighten; their wings gesture across
the landscape of fields, darkening woods and outbuildings. They take
as the sun takes light at dusk, as a brush runs out of