The swallows are gathering at Klamath Glen. Queing up on the telephone lines, Chattering to their neighbors, Exchanging pleasantries and updates on Eggs laid and chicks survived or lost, Getting ready for the long trip south.
It’s been months since they arrived in One large flock. Breaking immediately Into pairs, off they went to nest under eves Of homes and out-buildings, mud nests Hanging from sheer walls or perched on Utility lights. How do they manage it?
Soon heads peek out, cheeps rising in Crescendo when dad arrives with food. Before long the young have flown to join Their parents in airy pirouettes, darting here and There, morning and evening, harvesting insects, Growing strong in flight, confident in capture.
The swallows are gathering at Klamath Glen. Soon they’ll leave for climes southward. Who knows what makes them gather, Much less what tells them when it’s time To rise as one, wheel right and left, and Disappear beyond the trees on yonder ridge.
The gathering is mystery and marvel, the Sudden emptiness from lines and sky a void. Tomorrow we’ll rise to silence, an empty Sky where once was boundless sound and motion. The exuberance of youth, summer and the hatch Are only a memory now, fading with the light.
The swallows have gathered at Klamath Glen Only to leave. The knowledge that they had to go Is no consolation. We are left with memories, Short days and hope that we will still be here In June when they return again to brighten The long summer days of our too short lives.