Winter Evening Walk
by Jennifer Froehle
Hoarse trilling on high heralds the flying vee.
Onward they come, fleet
in full formation,
ragged-edged outliers, collapsing and rebuilding
the ingrained pattern, weak drafting off strong.
Wings beat in unison,
Incising cuneiform wedges across smudged gray clouds,
Skywriting news of shortening days and dwindling light,
Foretelling us the ending of the year.
In the sharp air, I freeze,
Lift eyes to track their path
As they sweep past,
So purposeful, their call
to flight embedded in their souls.
For one brief moment, I know I could go,
Join the airborne caravan
trekking southwest toward the light,
Follow sky roads mapped upon our cells to their end,
And bask in warmer climes till springtime turns us home.
I would lift into the air,
Fight this tug of earth with all my might
Until, aloft, I found my place
behind a fellow traveler, settled in
And I would fly.
Honks and cries recede
Before the swirling outline fades from sight,
A breath and they are gone,
Sweeping the year along in their silent wake.
And I resume my journey home
Jenny Froehle is an Indianapolis writer and consultant with decades of experience as a middle school teacher of language arts. She is at work on a novel, but takes frequent procrastination breaks to write professional articles, blog posts, and poetry inspired by her evening walks.