Carl Sandburg

6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois

Timber Wings

THERE was a wild pigeon came often to Hinkley's timber.

Gray wings that wrote their loops and triangles on the walnuts and the hazel.

There was a wild pigeon.

There was a summer came year by year to Hinkley's timber.

Rainy months and sunny and pigeons calling and one pigeon best of all who came.

There was a summer.

It is so long ago I saw this wild pigeon and listened.

It is so long ago I heard the summer song of the pigeon who told me why night comes, why death and stars come, why the whippoorwill remembers three notes only and always.
It is so long ago; it is like now and today; the gray wing pigeon's way of telling it all, telling it to the walnuts and hazel, telling it to me.
So there is memory.
So there is a pigeon, a summer, a gray wing beating my shoulder.
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