A flock rose, scrawling
a message across a faded blue,
in quivering black.
They have roosted all over the world,
gathering relics as they go:
picked at the ash, discovered
shreds of a child’s ribbon, and wove it in.
They forage through grave yards and battlefields,
offering feathers and eggshells for the unknown,
singing of bodies gathered, graves
dug, and flowers lain to rest.
Flight lifts them over water, finally landing
on window ledges, high above miles of concrete.
Peering over the edge they watch children’s hands
held fast by men in khakis or women with bright scarves
wound through their hair.
These bodies blend into a muddled collage
voices rise beyond the tall buildings
echoing among the songbirds
gliding through the darkened sky.
And on this night, they have come to this tree to doze,
to dream of stars and tides, of song.
And if I pause, right beneath this sleeping oak,
I feel vibrations of their faint chorus.