Beech Woods Passenger Pigeon by Hagerbaum

One and Then Another


One and then another
and then another just the same
Then dark and living clouds descend
with the thunder of a billion wings

A mighty mass of movement
The thick and musty stench
The unheard of sound surrounding
the breaking of the branch

"Here they come!"; the cry is heard
Then movement on the ground
A deadly storm is coming quick
with greed and violent sounds

With pole or net or gun
the targets are the same
Though a million are left for dead
the loss is seen as gain

Then away the clouds arise
A billion to their fate
Dashed to the ground from different skies
to pillow, plate, or crate

The living clouds descend
Each one marked with a numbered wing
Billions are millions are thousands
and then; one is left to sing

~ by David Staley