When I heard them high and faint
I looked up
As the first twenty emerged
From a wispy pocket of cloud.
We had been walking below the cold sky,
A lumpy blanket of watercolor clouds,
That hung over the valley
In layered shades of gray.
Walking for some time,
Reciting to myself Mary Oliver’s poem,
It had worked before,
Summoning the travelers
To reveal themselves.
The twenty became a hundred, then two hundred.
The numbers grew as they slipped out
Of the sheets of clouds,
Calling and shifting from one formation
To another, some straggling into long lines.
I ran across the field to keep them in sight
As they circled south looking for water.
They would soon be lost to me
Behind the hill.
The black dog was thrilled
With this unexpected new game.
I was laughing, her ears were flapping
As we ran.