Angela Allen

There is no reason to move fast,
not here, where the wind slaps
newcomers in the face,
insists we slow down
or miss the big prairie’s picture.

We dawdle, like dabblers,
shovelers and buffleheads,
pintails and cinnamon teals.
Rushing off the water, short legs propel them,
noiseless helicopters spinning up, up.

The sandhill cranes,
mauve as the spring mud they forage
need a running start like planes on a runway,
wings in a rolling downbeat,
then quick upbeat,
prairie-marsh musicians.

Angela Allen
March 15, 2005