September sunlight angles low
to a quicksilver lake,
chilled ripples, a breath of expectancy
swirls across my face.
From my plastic chair at shore's edge
I feel the season penetrate,
arthritis in my knees
before a storm.
Tremolo swishes of flight feathers,
a crow's garbled croaks above my head,
emphatic in the crisp air -
traffic noise of the bush lands.
Near tall reeds, a flotilla of Canada geese,
heavy from a summer of fuelling up,
discuss their flight plans
in fluted car-horn syllables.
Red-necked grebes, in squadron strength
patrol sandy shallows with U-boat efficiency,
periscope heads immersed, all dive at once,
synchronous attack on pre-flight tidbits.
I throw bread to a few mallards that bob nearby,
birthplace now a departure lounge,
wing feathers preened
they listen for the flight announcement.
The gulls, the swallows,
woodpeckers, martins, hummingbirds,
already flown, their inner barometer
set to an early warning.
A migrant parade for all except me,
the bystander, naked outside my urban box.
I close my eyes, join the throng,
feel wing roots begin to grow.