January Rising

This chill mid-winter wind startles

the last of Summer’s leaves loose,

a surging flow in flight,

from trees clustered along my homeward drive.

 

Twisting together, like smoke, they move

and wind along and above this darkening lane

Dry leaves swirl and fall ahead, before my car

and off across the stubbled, winter cornfield

now crisp and bare and brown.

 

They stutter and still and

finally fall to earth, grounded

The bitter air stands empty.

 

My car and I drive homeward

along this empty and frozen field

into a grey and silent twilight.

 

In the space of one quick breath

a swift burst of life

And wings rise together out of stillness

filling the wind above the frozen field.

 

This sudden winter flight of starlings

climbs and curves

wheeling as one, they lift up and on

full of wings, full of life.

Not falling leaves

but

 rising wings.

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