These two asleep . . . so indrawn and compact, like lavish origami animals returned to slips of paper once again; and then the paper once again become a string of pith, a secret that the plant hums to itself . . . . You see? — so often we envy the grandiose, the way those small toy things of Leonardo’s want to be the great, air-conquering and miles-eating living wings they’re modeled on. And the bird flight is amazing: simultaneously strength, escape, caprice: the Arctic tern completes its trip of nearly 27,000 miles every year; a swan will frighten bears away by angry aerial display of flapping wingspan. But it isn’t all flight; they also fold; and at night on the water or in the eaves they package their bodies into their bodies, smaller, and deeply smaller yet: migrating a similar distance in the opposite direction.
Copyright © 2007 by Albert Goldbarth. Reprinted from The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.