Yellow fluff, but for their black bills and eyes,
they take in campus life from long necks, and
short canoe-shaped bodies that are readying
day by day, for November’s epic struggle:
a tiresome but crucial v-formation flight south,
understood best by Snowbirds fleeing Canada’s cold.
But, for now, father leads the gaggle as they waddle
and forage in wonder at a largely unknown world,
one where sunshine driven through pale blue skies
gently meets the ground so stocked green with food
they cannot conjure the maddening discontent of hunger,
and certainly not as the wind gently tousles their down, and
mother at their side plays the bad big bird warden
since their chin straps have yet to come in.
And able she is, too,
giving squawks and hisses
as judiciously as she gives body heat,
always with that large but soft boaty body,
and its strong wings that form a hide ever
now like weeks before their birth —
before they knew anything about Earth.
she will teach these survivors how she
bests the coyotes and the crows, and
continues to forage, swim, and fly,
assured the world is her garden,
and now theirs, too.