They must have arrived in the night
ahead of the lightning, the storm –
their broad wings deflecting
a nervous wind, finding refuge
in a cove, huddled in darkness.
This morning, in bright sun
they bounce on brown choppy water
dipping curious orange faces
into currents that carry them.
A few rise in flight, above the old
Arkansas river-bed, bending –
their taut wings circle perfect loops
in clean October sky.
I look up, following their flight.
I look close into their eyes –
I swear, they are smiling.