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By John I. Blair

Of course the flying flocks
Fleeing cold extinction
Are in deepest earnest.

But we below,
Snug in jackets, autos, dwellings,
Just see beauty, strength, aspiration.

This yearly journey from death to life
Has inspired prophets, philosophers
And poets for generations.

We wax rhapsodic, wise, metaphysical,
And don’t much care
What the birds are really feeling.

They’re feeling passion, yes,
Enough to soar; but also pain, exhaustion,
Sometimes animal despair.

And while it is not necessary
To understand the birds’ reality,
A little empathy might temper ours.

©2003 John I. Blair  

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