Steel Birds

December 14, 2011
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So many of them up in the sky at one time
And yet even as you look at them you never really see them
Rising, falling, thin white lines trailing out behind them
Like streamers on a sky birthday
Nobody ever sees them, that is, until something goes wrong
Until they're free-falling, plummeting, unable to land smoothly on the grasping ground
Until there's nothing they can do to help
That's when they see
And realize that they've been there all along
Nobody ever sees that
Until they're gone.
Screaming silver birds, stone wings unable to flutter, but still able to fly
To carry their weight across the world
Their roar fading into the background
Until they roar no more.
People don't look up to see the flock fly
Because they know they're there
And they will be until the huge steel wings are clipped
And the birds come tumbling down
Until the storm grows too great
And the black strip is wiped out of sight
Until the birds go blind
And go down.
But sometimes there's hope
Even when the blindness is strong
Sometimes something breaks through
A fire, a landing light, something to guide the birds home
Back to the nest they go, safe, engines purring, chirping of their troubles
And the adventures they've had
Sometimes, just when it's the darkest night ever known to man,
The landing lights come on.

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