Whooping Cranes V

In 2009, 23 Whooping Cranes (nearly 10% of the world’s population) died when prolonged drought and upstream water use drastically limited fresh water along the coast of Texas. Today, Jim Blackburn, the attorney fighting on behalf of the Whooping Cranes, shared this touching original poem with our team. Now we share it with you and wish you a very happy Earth Day!


Whooping Cranes V
By Jim Blackburn

At Goose Island State Park during the spring migration
On a beautiful day following major storms.

The Live Oaks are full of worms,
Offering food for warblers that are scarce today.
The state park guide holds court near a feeder
That is inundated with Indigo Buntings,
Their brilliant blue contrasting nicely with the brown dirt
And the green foliage that surrounds them,
A lovely start to our trip back north.

Driving out, we pull over when we see
The five big white birds with black
On the tips of their wings,
Flying just above the treetops,
Offering their warbling whoop of goodbye
As they slowly ascend progressively higher,
Kettling up to migrate back north.

As the attorney representing the whooping cranes
First in federal district court and now seeking
The review of the highest court in the land,
I feel the connection that comes from legal action
To protect those that are unable to protect themselves
From the onslaught, from the never-ending assault
Of humans taking away water and food,
Destroying habitat, threatening extinction.

And as they rise up into the clouds,
I feel as if they stayed until this last migration day
To say good-bye and thanks,
A connection that I will feel to the grave,
A connection completed from birds to me and back again,
On a beautiful day during the spring migration
At Goose Island State Park outside of Rockport.