Ten Thousand Starlings

the sound of murmuring wings
thunders across the sky
a starling murmuration
an avian ballet overhead
ten thousand prima ballerinas
in continuous synchronized motion
swooping, twisting, swirling, diving,
forming a moving dark cloud
that widens and narrows
continuously changing its shape
as it billows across the sky
resembling the thick black clouds
of smoke, soot, ash and gas
that spew from the smokestack
of the nearby power plant
blackening the sky and choking up
the air with a lingering fetid stench

a murmurating cloud of starlings
thousands of synchronized flapping wings
a mesmerizing spectacle
choreographed with elegance and grace
as they fly over the power plant
ten thousand starlings
in unison gasp for breath

Floyd D. Anderson lives in Brockport, New York, and can be reached at floydsroom@hotmail.com. Read other articles by Floyd D..