Early Autumn, Lake Superior

First week of September
Warm days
From time to time small flocks of geese
Pass overhead
Conversing energetically
As they set out on their long journey south
The same un-nameable restlessness
Churning within their powerful bodies
Is also unsettling their kin
In ten thousand marshes and meadows
The leaves have not yet turned
But as sunlight hours wane
Chlorophyll gets busy
Packing up its green belongings
In preparation for departure
Cold morning dew
Bathes forest and field
While rivers and lakes
Feel the first faint stirrings
Of their bodily memory of ice
By Buff Whitman-Bradley

for Walt and Clara

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Front Range Review, Hawai’i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday, Watershed Review, and others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.