Birds obeying migration maps etched in their brains
never revise their interstate routes.
Some of them still stop off in Washington, DC.
As the lights of the Pentagon probe this autumn dusk,
a peaceful V-sign of Canada geese lower their landing gear,
slip on the oily Potomac, break rank and huddle
among the power boats. Wings of jets beat the air,
for the landing—pterodactyls circling the filled-in swamps
under National Airport. There is a great wild honking
of traffic on the bridges—
the daily homing of migrants with headlights dimmed
who loop and bank by instinct along the broken white lines.
Rod Jellema is Professor
Emeritus at the University of Maryland, where he directed the Creative
Writing Program. The author of two books of poems in translation and
of four books of poetry, his latest book, A Slender Grace, won the
Towson Prize in Literature for 2004. He is currently Poet-in-Residence
at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.
To read more by this author:
Jellema's Tribute to Ezra Pound: The Memorial
Jellema: Audio Issue