A Murmuration of Starlings

Skyfall over the meadow is its usual dusky,
almost sullen blue, draping itself over the tops
of the ancient trees that line the path to the sea.

Your absence is a physical ache. The faint salt tinge
on the wind reminds me of the scent of your cheek
when you haven’t shaved. That and the blues are
why I come here every night you’re away.

We are the blue people, well-acquainted with sorrow’s
mordant kiss, whose cold lips nonetheless fail to dim
our fierce passion for whatever’s left to live.

Tonight, somehow, feels different.

There’s an almost imperceptible humming hovering
in the twilight, and then, off to the west, as if birthed
by the sleeping sun, a great black cloud arises.

The humming becomes an achromatic blanket
of indefinable sixteenths and thirtyseconds as glossy
blueblack bodies glide in an aerial ballet of curves and bulges,
their mad chatter, whirring wings the only accompaniment.

The ache of no you fades as, swept up in their choreography,
I’m transfixed by the acrobatics of these dark angels.

Then, suddenly, they’re gone to wherever it is they put
themselves for the night and I am, once again, alone in what
is now the velvet of an autumn evening.

Another night I might have wept at this desertion, but tomorrow
you’ll be home to wrap me in your glossy wings. Closing my eyes,
I inhale the scent of your skin and choreograph a ballet of our own.


Poem by RC deWinter

RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, 8/2019), New Contexts 2 (Coverstory Books, 9/2021), in print: 2River, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals. She is also one of the winners of the 2021 Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest, with publication forthcoming.