How Can I be More Like the Sandhill Cranes

by bobbymillerwriting

who, like me, were also born in the sandy counties

of central Wisconsin, but have a piece of tundra in them.


They were given special lands,

wilderness sanctuaries that allowed them solitude

in their preferred habitat.


I was not.

And find myself envying them

when I feel away from home.


Clutching my binoculars, adjusting to the gentle rock of the boat

I magnified my fascination on a sedge of cranes

in the midst of ancient rites.


Who moved like they knew the land,

and had flown their annual pilgrimage

for this privilege.


(We could have departed on the very same day)


males singing, strutting, and poking at the wet earth

knowing perfectly well what they came for.


another day we caught them in flight

necks stretched outcurved

back and

forward again, dignified and stark

lines compelling me to testify

they know precisely what they are doing here


The cranes attend to the business of living elsewhere,

but once a year follow their cryptochromes

(I believe we all must have some)

home without the guilt of leaving responsibility behind.