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What are they saying, the birds
 coasting at sunset, getting ready for bed,
dive-bombing into darkened trees where you heard 
them fold their wings, or is that in your head?

Coasting at sunset, almost ready for bed,
their spread wings fan out, shadowing earth,
preening their wings—also in your head?—
soft feathers embracing the nest beneath,

their spread wings shadow the earth.
Asleep, their quiet breathing the music of heaven,
belly feathers embracing the nest beneath.
Why not reinvent earth as continual even-

song, small singers calling it a night,
nesting in the blackened trees where you heard
them chirp, trill, chuckle, and turn off the light.
What are they trying to say, the birds?

—Peggy R. Ellsberg