With Spring In Our Flesh – Don Welch

American Life in Poetry: Column 579

Don Welch

Don Welch

Early each spring, Nebraska hosts, along a section of the Platte River, several hundred thousand sandhill cranes. It’s something I wish everyone could see. Don Welch, one of the state’s finest poets, lives under the flyway, and here’s his take on the migration. His most recent book is Gnomes, (Stephen F. Austin State Univ. Press, 2013).

With Spring In Our Flesh

With spring in our flesh
the cranes come back,
funneling into a north
cold and black.

And we go out to them,
go out into the town,
welcoming them with shouts,
asking them down.

The winter flies away
when the cranes cross.
It falls into the north,
homeward and lost.

Let no one call it back
when the cranes fly,
silver birds, red-capped,
down the long sky.

Category: Nature, Other Poets, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 comments

  • Sannel says:

    Rick, I so wish I could see. . . Thank you for sharing.


    poeticfool Reply:

    Sannel, maybe someday you will. Thanks for dropping by!


  • Susan Sproull says:

    Hi Rick,

    I read that they have a crane festival that people from around the world to see. Also some other interesting facts I read are that the Sandhill cranes have gathered along Nebraska’s Platte River for some 10,000 years and they are known for their ability to dance. That would be something to see. 🙂

    Take care,


    poeticfool Reply:

    Hi Sue, I keep learning more and more about this amazing phenomenon. I’d love to see it in person some day with my camera in tow, of course! Thanks for reading!


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