Some nights, I want to tame the waves,
surmount the surge, vanquish the 24/7 deluge of rage,
fly above it all.
Darkness yearns for a glimpse of the Summer Triangle,
the August Perseids, the tough touch of a starfish.
In the morning, a whimbrel whistles a soft cur-lee:
Push through, flee, or coast over cooler water
where the furies won’t form,
probing the saltmarsh with its long decurved bill,
crushing sustenance, intertidal fiddler crabs extracted
from mud, washed and declawed.
You are armed with the capacity to swallow your fear.
How does the whimbrel persist on its epic 2500-mile journey,
or does it simply wing it?
How does it navigate a hurricane?
Above a distant mudflat, the whimbrel’s aerial song flight,
mellow piping, lifts me as I glide the prevailing winds.
Get a wing up before the storm.
Ellen Lager’s poems have been published in The MacGuffin, Neologism, Sheila-Na-Gig, Litbreak, Encore, and Sanskrit as well as various anthologies. She is an active member of the League of MN Poets and spends much of her time writing poetry in Robbinsdale, MN and at a lake cabin in the northwoods with her husband, two dogs and two cats.
© 2021, Ellen Lager