You’re about to return to the sky,
to the rest that comes
from soaring on the wind,

then flapping
down through the branches,
to the forest floor, this land
you’ve always known;

traveling higher and farther,
again and again, around
the critters you hunted,
who hunted you;

and descending
at last
to meet them
as they join you
in these light bodies,
in these silent wings,

in these bald heads that watch—
that dream for us all.

Zetetic separator

—Travis Poling’s recent poems can be found in Topography, The Heron’s Nest, and the anthology A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford. He holds degrees in creative writing and liturgy, and teaches English at Ivy Tech Community College in eastern Indiana. You can follow his work at

Leave a Reply