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Migration Song

I sleep better here

though I yearn for my former home.

Here the fox stays mostly in his lair

beneath the rocks

and though the bigger birds

may puff their feathers and strut

with squawks and shrills that drown

the calls of sweeter birds

they will not savage me

or shred my nest.

Here too the air may be heavy

but only with the scents

of blossom and new-mown grass,

shadows may loom

but only as they lengthen

with the movement of the sun

as day rolls into night.

Listening to the still strange calls

each dusk and dawn

I’ve tucked my head beneath my wing

and not joined in

but today I feel my throat

begin to loosen into song

the iron that sheathed my feathers

soften and drop away

my wings lift.

by Lilian Cohen

Lilian Cohen is an Australian writer who spent most of her adult life in Israel. She recently returned to Australia for family reasons and the poem is based on my experiences on my return.


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