First Migration

On a frosty morning too cold for comfort  
I stand in an open field,
the steam from my silver coffee mug 
rises up to warm my face.
A deep orange paints the sky,
a scene more common to a sunset than a sunrise.
I was the first to arrive, now 
dozens of others quietly mill around
for the moment is too precious for idle chat.
An hour later, most have given up,
retreated to the warmth of their cars. 
My eyes, burn cold with tears. 
I focus on the northwestern sky.
My cup has cooled, but I stay put. 
I’ve waited too long for this moment.
A radio crackles and a soft voice reports
our guests are just beyond the ridge, 
slowed by a stiff headwind.
My throat constricts and I see a white v-shape 
appear against the now bluing sky. 
And off the ultralight’s right wing 
a linear trail of ten small Vs. 
Ten young whooping cranes on their first migration.
My tears now flow and warm my face with joy.