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Clade Song Left

What Flies

The Black Skimmer working its way
close to shore—too close
for the Red Knots that arrived
last night from Argentina
5000 miles away and just
want to stuff themselves
for the next 2000 mile flight
and ignore the soaring Osprey
scanning for fish it will teach
how to fly. Back home,
at 60 wing beats per second,
the hummingbirds are raising a family
and chase bees, whose wing beats
are also a blur, off the flowers.
We are stuck down here
and can only fly in dreams
that let us jump off some cliff
over some sea we’ve created
and just hold out our arms
to steer our flight.
We can look down
on our motionless bodies
that some say on the last day
will rise in rapture—
but we are already surrounded by wings.






Clade Song Right

Warren Woessner has published widely, including in Poetry, the Nation, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Cutbank, Appalachia, 5 AM, Midwest Review and Iconoclast. Six collections have been published, most recently Exit ~ Sky (Holy Cow! Press). I have received Fellowships in poetry from the NEA, the McKnight Foundation and the Wis. Arts Board. I split my time between Minneapolis and Martha’s Vineyard, where I am a Board member of the Vineyard Conservation Society.