Mom showed sandhill cranes to me
outside our hotel in Florida on vacation to see her brother
and his wife as we watched them, the cranes, preen in grass
the color of sandhill cranes. The way she named them,
the sandhill cranes, was so beautiful, I learned serendipity.
I remember these sandhill cranes bending their knees in
dry grass tilting toward
their southern home
atop a windswept hill. I took a step or two
toward them and the closest few moved their eyes with me.
In turn, my skittish
head spun to Mom, who saw what they could do for me
and so told me to approach them.
Project calm, she may have said;
the vacation required some
funny calm, her sister-in-law
defending televangelists at dinner and her brother lapping wine.
Their Christmas Tree was nonetheless lovely.
And since I had just learned about that special grove
of aspen trees in Colorado with all
roots connected, I wondered
whether their Christmas Tree
was connected to the sandhill crane grass
and knew of the sandhill cranes skittering
through it and away from me and my mom,
but not before the tree knew of my steps
toward the sandhill cranes, and hers toward me, organisms
so we claim to be.