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from “Camping at Split Rock”

           So many birds!
Outside our tent they cross and recross our patch
of vision, hatch the air and double-hatch
in diving curves and lines. Each curve has words;

each flight speaks its own bird. The slowly strong
deep-thrusting heron’s stroke; the glittering
daring rush of the swallow and the long
poise and turn of hawk on a still wing;
the quick low scuttle of wren, the colored wind
of finches, blue-jay’s wide noble rise and fall—
we read each bird from its air-written scrawl,
the bird no stranger than the interpreting mind.
Judith Wright [1915–2000]