Like a canopy of darkness
they shadow the ground for miles
on currents that lift them
back to their roosts.
Years later I ask my father
if he gathered us
to watch thousands
swoop down on trees
sit wing to wing
until morning branches cracked
under their weight.
At daybreak did they leave the oaks
He says we never saw them abandon the hollow
catch a new wind to an unharvested south
but often would pile into the car to see their return
black streaks on the upward drift
of a September afternoon.
Poem by Chella Courington (from: Southern Girl Gone Wrong)