As the East’s Songbird Epidemic Fades, the Cause Remains Unknown
………………….—Audubon Magazine, September, 2021
Fifty thousand starlings swoop
above the marshes, wings drum in unison,
roar in the crepuscular sky.
Black shapes cluster, shift and swerve,
entanglement at play, then coalesce,
morph into a snake with twitching tail,
then giant cells that merge again,
give birth to prehistoric forms
like dancing aurochs on cave walls.
Roman augurs read these signs
to interpret gods’ desires: when to fight,
when to wait, what the cause, who escape.
What sibyls now can tell us why
songbirds fell, eyes encrusted, from the sky.
Share this post with your friends.