An endangered art

Katie Klingsporn

I’ve been watching the swallows so long that they start to transform, turning from birds feasting mid-flight into new forms. First it’s fighter jets, zooming and diving and curlicueing against a backdrop of grey. Then it’s sleek black fish, navigating the depths of the clouds with deft flicks and turns. I tilt my head back further, and the sky drops under me, the tips of the ponderosas piercing an ocean of cumulus. The evening firmament becomes a canyon.

Eventually, I pull myself up. The pond below shines like a polished stone, the river mumbles secrets to the trees, the meadow across the way shows the first yellows of fall in the stalks of its false hellebore. Beyond, aspen trunks paint slender white lines through the forest.

Day draws to a close in the Tusas Mountains of New Mexico. Day draws to a close in the Tusas Mountains of New Mexico.

How long had I been laying on that rock, watching the graceful…

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