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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 55

OUR MIGRANT IMPULSES

Leave this?
As ancients fled
  from ice, who
Found fire, and the equator--or
  failed to find
Among the slick root-ridge
  stumblings? Swim
The up-draught of air
  intoxicated as birds,
Mysteriously instructed
  migrants? No ‘as’
Has had knowledge of this
  drive who desolates
And awes and strives--not
  epochal, not
Seasonal, only: once.
  Now winds whip the
Trees. We sign in wonder
  and flip but not
In the thinning branches
  who have left forms
Known as trees forever.
  We are left to the
Aloning power who gathers
  us now (tossed,
tossing)
  I sit in this tree. We sign in wonder
And flip. The gloaming
  draws near. The sky
Port lets in pallor and
  chill, leaf and stem,
Seal, soil is unthirsting.
  And others gather.
The flocking, the high
  homing in jetstream,
Stange ice-crudded, light-absorbed
  ways:
Something of what we sense,
  none of it known--
No rest, no place. The
  summer power thrives,
            Not drawing out, radiant,
  fearsome, for far flight.

  G. E. Schwartz