From here it looked very much
Like a cartoon. All the movements
Were kind of jerky and forced.
As we drew closer we could see
The huge flocks of birds wheeling
And swirling in many colors.
It was beautiful and noisy with
Thousands of bird voices filling
The air and the gray rain just
Starting to fall making them glisten
When we drew close upon them we
Could see they were circling above
A city filled with dead human beings.
The streets heaped with silence.
The stench overpowering. We had
To lead our animals away from the
Place quickly. The birds still above
In their mad flight, around and around.
This could be anywhere we recalled
That evening as we gained high ground.
There was no indication of any conflict
Just the crucible of the dead littered
Like driftwood and as black.
We stared into the fire a long time.
Then someone began to sing softly.
Before too long we were all singing.
It was a song without words and a
Million melodies all at once. Somehow
It was soothing. We began to return
To our bodies like angels descending.