Snow Geese

All this rising,
coming, going
these wings weaving
open lengths of muted
notes like an orchestra, heavy
on the brass, tuning
down, geese gleaning
rootstock, bulrush shoot, marsh grass, spilled
grain, this ivory
singed white by the perfect black
feather tips
roughening the flock
which sweeps the sky
like a river
washing the oil-tinged gravel shoulder with whisked
shadows baffling,
murmuring, this simultaneous departing
and arriving, thinning
and thickening wind lowering itself suddenly

Copyright 2011,  Christianne Balk

Christianne Balk is the author of two books of poetry, Bindweed (Walt Whitman Award,   Macmillan) and Desiring Flight (Purdue University Press). Her work has appeared in New Poets of the American WestThe Atlantic MonthlyThe Alaska Quarterly ReviewPrairie Schooner, and other publications.   She lives in Seattle with her husband, daughter, and Cassie, the golden retriever.

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