Author's Note: Autumn—especially in 2020—tends to be the time of year when people (perhaps birds, too, who knows?) start to sense the rapid passage of time—and maybe even the outlook for the long-term survival of their species. Here are two poems I think speak to these sobering situations.
The Amazing Perseverance of the Sand-Hill Crane
Endangered species? Not this chick—she’s got a built-in arsenal: claw, bill, and feather, and soon she’ll pull her leggy act together, gear up for the hunt. She’ll troubleshoot the dales and dunes where eligible males from her subgenus are inclined to loiter, then browse around, observe, and reconnoiter until she’s got her target by the tail. Not for her, macaws that squall for freedom, Not for her, the frowning peregrine; She wouldn’t know an albatross from Adam and doesn’t want some freckled featherbrain puttering in the garden, spitting seeds. One crane. One skinny crane. That’s all she needs.
Originally published in Free Verse #93, 2007
Another Reason Not to Live North of 43 Degrees Latitude,
Especially Near Lake Michigan
Summer around here doesn't leave politely. No wafting away, full of good excuses, into clouds of dissipating humidity. No trailing nine o'clock sunsets festooned with streamers the color of seashells, or Damson plums. Instead, she wakes up one morning near the end of August, shakes the petals out of her hair, takes a chilly look around, and before we've had time to unplug the fan and slam the windows shut, she's gone. Just like that. Sometimes so fast she catches her skirt in the door; last year we were still finding shreds as late as November.
Originally published in Wisconsin Poets Calendar, 2009
©2020 Marilyn Taylor
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