Walter Bargen The 2River View, 7.2 (Winter 2003)


Below sparrow, starling, stork—nothing that gloriously soars.
Species that skirt treetops in search of the next near
perch: backyard snag, old chimney, spilled grain
or shapeless carrion, whatever view is closest.
Not these swallows rifling over the peak,
careening, missing this hard ragged edge,
bottom of a crumbling stone sea at ten thousand feet.
Wings whistle in and out of a mountain’s
cold shadow. Blurs stretched down to desert miles,
racing the horizon, soaring through the blown body
of evening dust and out of the fettering dark.
Weightless bodies scapeling turns over stunted spruce
topping the still turning light of a brief world.

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