The ones with the split tails are terns
And if you watch them fly into the wind
you will lose your balance and fall
onto the soft sand.
And don’t be tempted to pull up the dune grass
it is the only thing
keeping the continent in place.
The wind and moon work in concert –
the Creator, if you will,
while you are a very recent visitor,
a tourist with slow-growing roots
causing accidental damage
To become part of nature
you must observe closely
and remain in one place.
in an odd-shaped bag
with a few strings attached.
Michael Favala Goldman is a translator of Danish literature, a poet, educator, and jazz clarinetist. He has translated sixteen books of Danish poetry and prose, including Dependency, book three of The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen, which was selected among New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2021. His third book of poetry, Small Sovereign, was awarded First Prize for Poetry in the 2022 LA Book Festival. He lives in Northampton, MA, where he has been running bi-monthly poetry critique groups since 2018. https://michaelfavalagoldman.com/