Standing here with this mask on my face
I watch the starlings leap from wire to sky
where they swirl and circle and return
to the wires to pause before bursting skyward
and repeating their performance with stunning
coordination and speed—what the watchers call
a murmuration—and I’m gripped
by the electricity of it all,
how the birds move
like a video gone viral,
like a fear spreading
through a free society.
Ian Willey is a teacher who spends his days looking for meaning, and occasionally his sunglasses.