Anne-Marie Oomen | Pandemic Poem for Us All, #5: Something Rising
ANNE-MARIE OOMEN, Award-winning Michigan author, writer, poet, Interlochen Arts Academy, Writing Workshops, Poet in Residence, Writer in Residence, Writing Residence
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Pandemic Poem for Us All, #5: Something Rising

Now, even ordinary walks seem heightened, and what is a simple experience watching cranes becomes metaphorical for what must happen as we go through this. Anyway, that’s what I hope.


Pandemic: Something Rising

Walking the old road again,
I heard them, chortling high

as they flew, that chuckle
that sounds like family gossip

though of course it’s not. They
appeared below rain-stained clouds,

a dozen sand hill cranes against
the sky, together in a flock.

Then to the north, another sound,
like theirs but off, higher, both

in sky and pitch, and if I were to
assign it tone, frantic

would be it. Scanning skies
behind the flock, there, too high,

a crane almost lost in cloud, alone,
struggling to keep up, but falling

behind. And from it came that call.
Here we are I thought. Nature’s

cruelty, survival of the fittest.
social Darwinism, etcetera—we know

the drill. Then, the pull of sadness,
companion of the day, and so

I was about to turn away when
a third cry sounded through the mist,

a lower honk, insistent and short.
And there, I saw one from the many

break, leave the now distant gang,
arc back toward the wandering one,

calling in return, golumph, golumph,
as in come on come on, and with

a final cry, short, desperate
and high, the lost one found its guide.

I stood in the empty road—
brain stunned by what I’d seen

some animal instinct rising
to save the least after all?