Sleek gray missiles knifing cleanly through the air;
Winging their way through the skies wide and clear;
Thousands of birds borne upon the winds;
Hundreds of squadrons on an ancient mission.
The oldest and strongest lead the flights;
The young and the weak follow behind.
“Honka, honka,” the lead ganders give the cry;
Straight on, fly true, for thousands of miles.
The lead birds slipping back from time-to-time;
Resting in the slipstream of others ahead.
Primitive missiles slipping through the gray fog of clouds;
Flying by the stars—a wing and a prayer.
Up ahead, up ahead, far on the horizon;
A shining sheet of water beckons the birds.
A scout—a mature gander, surveys the sectors;
Reconnoitering the ponds for hidden, deadly dangers.
When the “all clear” signal is given,
The squadrons land flight by flight.
Until all come to rest in blissful cacophony;
Home again—until the great migration—next year.
Chuck Connors, December 1, 2009