Drew Hayden Taylor

Drew Hayden Taylor
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Wild Cranes of November

The wild cranes of November – where are they?
Ah yes! They can be seen dimly above the lake,
six – no, seven – specks in clouds
that are an unambiguously snow-laden grey.

I strain to point them out to little Emily.
But they can be heard with an amazing clarity.

It is my sixtieth birthday and nothing works like before –
not eyes, not ears and I am punished in my knees
when I crawl with little Emily on the floor.

But the cranes are there and it is not so bad -
not like my grandfather, say, who got laid out,
face-down, younger then than I am now,
on the worst day of the worst year of the war.

So, come for the cranes I say to little Emily.
They can be heard with such clarity.
And to myself I say happy birthday.

Ulrich Wendt, 2006

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