The Gathering

That clump of trees just up ahead

is pulsing and boiling with birds,

thousands packed tightly together like smoke;

a chattering, chirping autumn turbine

gathering energy for departure.

You can sense the power building, peaking

as more and more arrive, bending branches

under the weight of their massed impatience.

At a silent signal made every year

on this very day and at this hour

they all launch upwards in a giant ball

that twists and turns as fast as thought, stealing

so much life and instinct from this landscape

that will somehow make it through their absence;

you can see the hope and promise of spring

and the distant solemn march of winter

trail behind like rival festival flags

during their annual flutter in the wind.

Published in The Roscommon Herald

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