Consider the blackpoll warbler.
She tips the scales
at one ounce
before she migrates, taking off
from the seacoast to our east
flying higher and higher
ascending two or three miles
during her eighty hours of flight
until she lands,
north of Venezuela
three days older,
and weighing half as much.
She flies over open ocean almost the whole way.
Oh she is not so different from us.
The arc of our lives is a mystery too.
We do not understand,
we cannot see
what guides us on our way:
that longing that pulls us toward light.
Not knowing, we fly onward
hearing the dull roar of the waves below.
Cadwallader-Staub grew up
in Minnesota with her five sisters, her parents, and a dog beside one
of Minnesota’s small lakes. Her favorite words to hear growing up were,
“Now you girls go outside and play.” She now lives in Vermont and still
loves to explore the natural world right out her back door.