The day our son is due is the very day
the redknots are meant to touch down
on their long haul
from Chile to the Arctic circle,
where they’ll nest on the tundra
within a few feet
of where they were hatched.
Forty or fifty thousand of them
are meant to drop in along Delaware Bay.
They time their arrival on these shores
to coincide with the horseshoe crabs
laying their eggs in the sand.
Smallish birds to begin with,
the redknots have now lost half their weight.
Eating the eggs of the horseshoe crabs
is what gives them the strength to go on,
forty or fifty thousand of them getting up all at once
as if for a rock concert encore.
From Thumbscrew magazine issue 17, 2000/1