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New England poet Wally Swist captures the “avian choreography” of migrating geese in his beautifully crafted poem from the current issue of Deep Wild Journal:

November, Migration

We hear them barking beyond
       the tall crowns of tulip trees above
our heads, as they emerge from
      the edges of the fluttering russet
leaves, the large flock of them,
      exhausted, hoarsely calling, one
after another slowing their flight,
      then circling as a group, an avian
choreography, which brings them
      closer to their reflections moving
along the surface of the pond. How 
      they lift their wings, concomitantly,
to lower themselves into 
      the water, to drift in free fall, each 
one splashing and dragging 
      its body into the churning spray 
they create, each one a susurration 
      punctuating the conclusion of its
flight, with a hiss, and their
      mingling honking cries, until they
rest and bob in the waves they 
      launched, one by one, and as a flock,
rippling along the shore, enrapt 
      in a moment of silence, which washes 
over them and ourselves, filling us. 
      What it is to see them again, what it is, 
with such subtle astonishments,
      for them to have flown and then landed.

Read more poems, short stories, and essays from and about wild places in Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry. To order a copy of our current or past issues, and to read our submission guidelines for the upcoming issue, visit  

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