I call my wife outdoors to have her listen,
to turn her ears upward, beyond the cloud-veiled
sky where the moon dances thin light,
to tell her, “Don’t hear the cars on the freeway—
it’s not the truck-rumble. It is and is not
the sirens.” She stands there, on deck
a rocking boat, wanting to please the captain
who would have her hear the inaudible.
Her eyes, so blue the day sky is envious,
fix blackly on me, her mouth poised on question
like a stone. But, she hears, after all.
January on the Gulf,
warm wind washing over us,
we stand chilled in the winter of those voices.
"The Cranes, Texas January" by Mark Sanders, from Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2012). Reprinted with permission of the poet.
Art credit: "A flock of migrating cranes flies in front of the moon in Linum near Berlin on October 13, 2010," photograph by Pawel Kopczynski.