A flame of shadow in the morning light,
You skim the surface of our pond again.
Your breast of cream and throat of chestnut grain
Distinct with band of blue like azurite.
I watch you pause, your wings drawn back in flight.
Then suddenly, an acrobat, urbane
You jerk and twist to swoop and snap a skein
0f insects for your offsprings’ appetite.
It is a miracle you have returned
To breed within our barn in that same nest.
A thousand miles you flew through hail and storm,
Through gunshot, folds of fog and drought that burned.
For skilled tenacious flight you are the crest
Of evolution’s daring and its form.