A southern marsh, all green and brown
Is the place we call our own
Our first, most restful home.
Here we were hatched,fledged and taught
Here we sported, played, mock-fought
With other nestlings.
Wingtip to wingtip we filled the sky
Exulting as we learned to fly.
Over that reed-filled marsh.
Nowhere on earth is quite the same
As the marsh where I was born
It calls to me, it cradles me
Away, I feel forlorn.
Here, we attend annual gathers,
Though older and wearing different feathers
These are the friends from long ago
I’ll never forget.
Black cormorants, their wings outspread
Waiting for the sun to rise overhead.
Elegant grey-suited cranes, red crowned
Dancing their way across the ground.
Demure kingfishers with orange beaks
Suddenly becoming bright blue streaks
As they swoop and fish.
The harsh summer sun drives us far away
We fly throughout the night and day
To cooler climes and snow-melt streams
Pre-winter storms bring on the dreams.
Of southern skies, of marsh and reed
Red crabs, shell- fish, the best of feed,
The marsh calls me with its siren song
I join my flock, a thousand strong.
Flying high, calling in clear, high, tones-
Our brains hard wired to magnetic zones
As we arrow South.
We elude the winter, evade the hunter,
Migrating, soaring, on and on
Returning to the reed-marsh where we were born.