From CutBank 76
With the scientific name Antigone, the sarus crane holds a band
of red around its head, a rope worn into the flesh in mourning.
They sing this morning, heads back, the female first, then
the male. She says two things and he, one, brief in speech.
They are the tallest in the world, taller than most men. I have never
seen a crane so beautiful, my father says, and as he can’t hear me, I don’t say
anything, his aids left behind again, not liking the sound of his own feet
and insects of wet spaces meeting. The cranes grow from what is wet, not
his dry mouth, words lost in a syndrome that drags
his face in red patches. For some time, Antigone was alive
and kept to her father’s side, even after she was condemned, inside
a cave, wet place. Her losses, mother, brothers, sister, father.
If one crane is killed, the other will call for days in mourning. Of the pride
of lions my father finds, he presses on the glass like a child,
asks: see them? I’ve never been so close. The cranes dance at times
of their own choosing.
Angie Macri’s recent work appears in 32 Poems, Fugue, and Waccamaw. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she teaches in Little Rock.