The Eternal Life Of Birds by Jim Gustafson

They are, I think, different than we know
so constant their voices pass through
as train whistles do, late in the county
at crossings, when all day-things rest
and night knows it best not to move along the tracks.

They are, I think, something other than we see.
When they fly and circle in the thermals
it is to deceive all who would follow them
to the place of which they sing.

On the precipice of past dreams, strains of air
are the brush strokes of their wings, so slight
we do not know they touch the canvas of our cheeks.

They are, I think, strangely hidden within
themselves. Even those who hide in camouflage
to watch and pull them close with lifted lenses,
cannot see all that’s drawn beneath a feather’s embrace.

They are, I think, endlessly alive.
If not for the murderous car and the feasting
of beasts, they do not die.

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He holds an MFA from the University of Tampa, teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.  www.jimgustafson.com

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He holds an MFA from the University of Tampa, teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.
http://www.jimgustafson.com

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