The Storks at Aldealengua

   The Storks at Aldealengua



From Salamanca, the Tormes     

Makes its way, slow and deep,

Along dark fields.

River, highway and railroad

All arrive together

At Aldealengua.


The church there

Is at the center of town.

From its plain tower

(You almost have to laugh)

Sprouts a barrel-size nest,

Grey branches woven, sharp and brittle,

Like a Catholic hat,

Heavy, uncomfortable.


Today the storks arrived,

Set up their conjugal apartments,

Never asked the priest.

The birds too are formal, erect,

Dressed in black and white.

They come every year

To this same tower.



I am happy no earnest churchman disturbs them.

They build their walls high, thick.

No one sees

What goes on inside.


Steven Woodruff

12/93- 1/94

Along the Tormes

Along the Tormes

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