when the birds begin to walk
when the crows in their silk tuxedos
stand in the road and watch
as oncoming traffics swerves to avoid
the valley of dead things
when the geese reject the sky
and sit on the apron of highway 95
one wing pointing north the other south
and what does it mean this morning
when a men runs wild eyed from his car
shirtless and shoeless his palms spread wide
into the jungle of traffic into a world
gone away the birds beginning to walk
the man almost naked almost cawing
almost lifting straining to fly.

Lucille Clifton

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