Sea’s calm and the tide’s inches in
as sun beans glint on bay waters
Then, without announcement
the squadrons move in
One after another in perfect synchronization
each formation passes our reviewing stand,
low stealth winging across the shallows
in winter deployment
What signal brought in each skimmer conspiracy
What flight school honed these precision skills
where pilots snuggle up behind an unseen leader
as they circle through precision hairpin turns
Inform us Rynchops niger,
with your black masks and knife-like noses
Tell us of instinct and imitation
with a heritage deeper than time
Do you know of the Majesty of beginnings
or just of the seed that perpetuates
Fly on, island skimmer
while I revel in your being
Note: Some explanation is due. The photo is of a “conspiracy” (a group) of Black Skimmers. Their scientific name is Rynchops niger. The terminology “pilots snuggle” refers to fighter jets in close formation. My husband and I had an opportunity to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds a few months ago during an air show. Then, of recent, we were guests at a Black Skimmers air show of their own which preceded their regular feeding time when the tide just covers the flats, making skimmer fishing ripe. The similarity was obvious.
Snake Bight is a bay on Florida Bay near Flamingo in Everglades National Park. It’s a lovely place for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and bird watching, and a venue not to be missed if you enjoy those activities.
What a great photo! The words aren’t bad either. 🙂
You’re the sweetest! Many thanks.