tundra swans

In the warm sun at the woods’ edge, a groundhog gathers a mouthful of dried leaves and dives into her burrow. Far-off cries of tundra swans.

Overcast and cold with snow in the air and scattered notes from a traveling ensemble of flautists: a large V of tundra swans arrowing south.

From high overhead, the faint cries of swans. I scan the clear sky in vain. A blue jay drinks from a seep in the yard beside the dogwoods.

Over the wind, a faint music, as if from a distant woodwinds section: silhouetted against a cloud, a south-bound V of tundra swans.

Tundra swans are still migrating despite the bitter cold and wind; I hear them off to the north. A jet without a contrail gleams in the sun.

At first light, the wild cries of tundra swans pour down through the clouds. Then silence. The rumbling labor of an east-bound freight.