Every night at dusk
the swallows come.
They swoop and stall and dive
weaving in a random play,
their white bellies and forked tails flashing.
If I sit quietly,
they curiously buzz me
swinging out and swooping back into the fray
chirping their chewing chip, chip, chip call.
They never collide despite their speed.
Their chip, chip, chip like a sonar warning
They’re not organized like chimney swifts
or schooling fish or a swarm of bees
yet are somehow choreographed like a crazy quilt
in the softening light.
As dusk deepens,
they begin to disperse
flying higher and further afield.
Fewer and fewer their numbers
until they are gone,
gone back to their barn roosts
with bellies full of bugs.