black birds flying under white sky
Just now in the snow-filled sky: a river of geese, a high northbound shimmer of geese, a far flowing apparition glimpsed between bare branches, gray against white. Geese, whose calls summoned us through windows and walls, they were that loud in the study, in the living room, so that all of us, woman man and dog, raced to doors and stepped out into falling snow to listen, look up and crane our necks with mouths agape, marvel. Their calls for a moment sounded so like the shouts and shrieks of children that we peered through the trees for sledders, but it was late morning on a school day, and the sounds our six ears raised our gaze toward came from too high, so even as the bright cacophony faded we looked up and up, and at last we could see them, so high our eyes could barely make out the northward stream of gray dots far above the deep white sky falling and swirling below them. 

And their torrent of sound—it must help carry them along, help keep them on course, how must it be to fly through a sky filled with snow, wings pumping blood pumping breath, to voice the same full throated traveling song that fills your ears from beside and before and behind you, leaving a wake of white flakes whirling dancing streaming away, steaming away in the heat of your flock’s effort and flow —how to model the fate of snowflakes deflected by the speeding aerodynamic progress of a thousand geese? The geese don’t need to wonder, nor to concern themselves with models, nor spare a thought for earthbound dots that watch and listen far, far below. The geese fly onward, singing. 

Snow has turned to sleet
Ticking softly against glass.
This morning, wild geese flew north.

Sabrina Kirby

Sabrina Kirby lives and writes in central Pennsylvania.