Spring in Michigan

It’s day two of the Festival of Faith & Writing. So much to think about, process, reflect upon, enjoy. But halfway across the parking lot at lunch – in the middle of a day that began in the freezing temperatures of winter and ended with young people (and others) sunbathing on the grass – I heard a strange and insistent sound in the distance. The woman near me stopped and looked around. “Sandhill cranes,” she said. The sound was distant, soft, but distinct. We looked around, unseeing, but each time we were about to give up, they would call again, demanding our gaze. “There!” she said, pointing to the sky, where the jet trails marked the path of seven birds, impossibly high, as though they would leave the atmosphere itself and migrate to another world altogether.

Warming my soul against the pale sun,
wrapping darkness around me, the better
to absorb the light. Sandhill
cranes bubble overhead, a mile high,
diving into the deep blue firmament,
breathing heaven, singing alleluia.

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