Choristers of the Equinox

Summer Rains, Quiet Track         ©Copyright Jonathan Slator

Jonathan Slator reading Choristers of the Equinox

The trumpet of the crane heralds the change.

At the crest beat from the trek
the city far below, forgotten,
I catch their cackle first
as always, spring or fall,

before a sighting. Battling the south-westerly,
a gale at this loft, they come on
ponderous as ocean tankers,
windmill sail wings,
spindle undercarriage up,
inexorable as time, which they have proven,
being as ancient as any. The chevron’s point falters

banks away from the storm. The flight hurtles over the ridge
in the cruel tail wind
drops into calmer air luffs to the north
oblivious to the loss of progress,
their journey being continental,
a mile here, an hour there,

is of no mind. Called by an ancestral hymn
their path, north and south in answer to light and dark,
warmth and chill,
is set from range to basin to range,
pond to stream to rio, paqueno or grande.
Weak or foolish culled by fatigue, carnivore

or barbed fence. They turn again
face the wind chortling as if to mock the element
they must most admire. They close haul
out over the cobweb city, which has marred this plain
for an iota of crane generations,
and will be long gone before
these hoarse choristers of the equinox
quit the skies.