Ode to the Hudsonian Godwit

Through blue-black night, and wind and sullen storms—
a boreal bird on cold Atlantic air—
you fly non-stop 7,000 miles to where
the southern wetlands welcome you back home.

A tracker marks your epic nine-day flight
from Canada to Argentina shore.
You double weight beforehand for the chore,
and steer by memory and by starry night.

A feat no bird but you has ever tried …
but fate does not reward your bravery.
Alas, when you head north again, to sea,
you’re trapped inside a hunter’s net to die.

I wish time travel took us back to when
your precious life was safe from greedy men.


(Note: Like many heroic migrating shorebirds, Hudsonian Godwits
are threatened by hunters, considered a culinary delicacy
in some parts of the world.)


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