Three years ago, I added the osprey to my Poets’ Birds series, with an entry by our former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
In the series, I’ve always turned to other poets to highlight the beauty of the birds and the immense satisfaction that comes with observing them. But when our ospreys returned last week, the thrill of hearing their calls echo across the water as they rode north winds back into their winter home was unusually sharp.
On Thursday, there was one bird. On Friday, there were more than a dozen. By Monday of this week, there were birds perched on masts throughout the marinas, chattering and calling to one another as they sorted out their territories. Today, there is this poem: my own tribute to these magnificent birds, composed in the form of an Etheree.
The Return of the Osprey
their crisp, sweet flight
from autumn’s falling
wings stir warm and limpid air
’til remembered fragrance lifts and
swirls, redolent of familiar
prey: the salt-tanged, unknowing, unlucky.