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Back 40: Freezeout

How many words do the birds have for wind?

Written by Charles Finn  
December 2015


How many words do the birds have 
For wind? How many categories 
Of breezes? It’s all about what you pay attention to 
And getting through the day. 
If you’re ever at a loss for what to do
Take the night flight to Bozeman
Drive, hike, bike, snowmobile — whatever — 
200-miles north and east
To Freezeout Lake and leave 
Your tracks in the mud, and with your hands 
Deep in your pockets, and your pockets 
All that you have, walk into the morning 
Where the Cyclops eye of the sun, blood red 
Is being freed from the horizon. Never mind 
You don’t speak the language, never mind 
You wear a parka of down feathers. 10,000 geese
Can’t be wrong. Snow goose, Ross’ goose 
Greater and lesser sandhill cranes 
See how the land gives them back to the sky 
Like tossing confetti.