The sandhill cranes returned this week,
in graceful formations that cut through the fog
and gray skies. Surprised, I heard their muted
trumpet calls and turned to welcome them,
not too long gone, now all seasons are crimped
by heat and drought, and struggle to live as fully
as they once did. Still, the sandhill cranes returned,
and robins, rain, and willow green, too, and like
one who waits for the sight of a soldier descending
the hill towards home, when things I’ve missed
return again, the sharp pain of yearning releases
and a thousand blossoms of something like hope
bloom in the world I imagine still possible: peace,
perhaps–families sure of their footing, and safe.
And if men will yet make time to strafe their hate, to burn to ash what breathes, what proves us better,
I bow to our Earth, that still takes time to renew
love’s promises, delivering old friends, flying back
like memories of better days, sounding good news
to hold in my heart against the coming storms.
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