corn fields plowed black
and ice crusted.

A heavy cloud
rises, rises—

starlings—
then the cloud dissolves,

thin whips like hair spilling,
like ocean waves,

like birds,
a plane above the field

then risen
towards the sun,

birds turned over
themselves,

stitched in and out
of other birds.

I stop my car, stand
in the road to hear their wings,

watch their quick
dissolve, reform,

shape after shape black
against the winter sky,

winter field.
Murmuration, it’s called:

low, continuous complaint,
whispered, confidential—

through wing and air
to speak and speak and speak,

body to body, calling.