turn of the crew

We hear them a-honk downwind
before seeing their disarray
as if group will trumped instinct

and yet, their intent is clear
as they circle in ragged clusters,
change course, and finally

plant themselves in the far field
among severed stalks of cropped corn.
We hear them mutter, settle

and by the time we reach them
find an installation of identity
each neck standard height above stubble

each head turned, statue still, facing west
and our oncoming steps. Even
though I know what will ensue,

I am unprepared for the flap of wings
roaring them, lifted as one,
back to their southbound flight.