Snow Geese in Flight, Bosque del Apache, NM

Snow Geese in Flight, Bosque del Apache, NM


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A thousand snow geese take off all at once. The black flag flight feathers of the tips of their wings shirr like the blades of powerful engines. They crawl and scrawl their way onto the sky, white and black on cold clear blue, clinging there, slow motion before they truly free themselves from gravity, and rise.
To collide, full thrust, would be disastrous to fragile hollow bones. Somehow they avoid – the tree line, its nagging branches reaching; the interloping weight of a sandhill crane amongst them by mistake; the competition of their own with each other’s wings, coordinate: all up – all out – all down. Into this chaotic space they speed. Safe. Their voices, their limbs and bodies crushing the air into that sound endless ice age snows might have made – white noise over white, frozen ground.

© 2011 Mark Seth Lender, All Rights Reserved

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