News Item: Loons’ Wings Ice Over

And they fall to earth in Northern Wisconsin –

Pembine, Antigo, Lakewood – I

know how they feel, wings coated with ice, heavy,

so heavy

the loons can’t lift them one more

time and,

realizing it is out of their hands,

or rather, out of their wings,

the only thing to do is

pick a spot on the frozen earth, plan

a landing that will hurt the least,

one that might receive their bodies like a pop fly caught at center,

soft, light, pulled into someone’s chest

and maybe they can wingwalk away.

They were not meant to walk, just swim, or fly.

In ululating loon language, or so I imagine,

they pray for a landing close to water,

one with enough runway, a quarter mile of lake,

so they can get up enough speed to return to the sky, wings freed,

blue sky above

steel water below

able to see, again,

this corrugated map

of the lap of the world.

They’ll rise above it.

But until then

I hold my wings out

as straight as I am able, laden

with 30 years of ice,

heavy as sleeping children.

I watch the ground

rising up to meet me,

I feel the hurt before I hit,

I won’t be caught,

I won’t be pulled soft

into the right fielder’s chest

but I will find enough runway

to get back into the sky some day,

wings catching the edges of clouds,

those lakes inchoate,

giving me just enough friction

for lift.

2 thoughts on “News Item: Loons’ Wings Ice Over

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