The Apaches whirl low and loud
over the house today. They rattle the timbers,
they quaver the trees, shaking off twigs
and the empty nests of last year’s birds.

There are all kinds of birds
in the air here: the broad black wings
of bickering crows, the silent gliding circles
of hawks, distant Chinook and low Apache.

My father would know the variations
by the shape of the nose or the rotor’s whoop:
D-model from A, but I know them only by lazy
or rushing, by swoop or hover, when the sky is blue.

Day and night, when the weather is nice,
you hear them call to each other:
the stutter and cough of the gun on the nose,
the singular boom of rockets on the range.

No where else has these kinds of birds.
No where else feels loud enough without them.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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