Call's in the Wilderness

                                    By Darlene Sprague

      Graniteville, VT


This Knight was black, but I could see

his form through the shadows moving free

The ground fog danced below the trees


The dark capped pilot, with a scarf of black and white

cut through the air like a jet fighter in flight

He swerved to the left, and then turned to the right

on a mission, on a cool starry spring night


His instincts of direction would lead him to his quest

his flight was urgent he must land before all the rest

To set down quietly on the water and become immersed

it was very important that he be there first


A long hard journey without much rest

to make his claim, he has to be the best

Establishing his territory, he must remain vigilant

swimming in circles checking the pond, head held high

neck upward and straight

looking for marauders, listening for his mate

A day went by, without intruders around

then he heard her call, a most beautiful sound


She glided over him, slowly making a turn

sliding into the water beside him

calling to him with her soft mating yearn

excitedly he greets her and their duet began

tremolo's in different pitches

echoing throughout this wonderful water land


Both hungry and tired, he took the first watch

tucking her head back on her wing, she rested

The intensity of their devotion,

such a beautiful thing


With the rise of the sun, and the fog off the pond

I was not surprised to find them both gone

An occasional hoot exchanged between mates

helped me to locate them down by the dam gate


Resting and feeding, staying in close range

diving and preening and rolling in place

The urgency of their calls, when out of each others sight

will draw attention from those in flight


Some say they are noisy, but quiet they can be

They will be right in front of you but you will never see

Drawn to each other by natures mating call

dancing on the water with incredible grace

a minuet begins in this enchanted water place


Touching the shore only a few times in their lives

to mate, and then to nest,

He is large and strong defending his territory

She is small and willful, loyal and true

both formidable forces, in times of unrest


Foes come and go with tireless aggression

battles last for hours, without any truce

Defending their territory with body bashing,

intimidation ,and long sharp bills slashing


Winners usher out the losing foe

Then off to the shore the pair will go

procreation is what will occur


Quietly together a nesting site is found

made safe on high swampy ground

made of mud and sticks, or what ever is around


Nestling down softly on her new nest

two eggs she will lay, and then she can rest

he stays very close, keeping a silent watch


Each spend hours sitting under the hot sun

they exchange places, then she takes a dive

this is the only way the eggs will survive

turning the eggs, then he sits to keep them warm

as the biting black flies and mosquitoes swarm


Battles are fought with determination and won

days go by and then the time has come,

for the eggs to hatch, and to greet two little ones


Joyous sounds complete the event

two little loonling's, heaven has sent

They jump in the water and bob like two corks

with both parents, nervous, exhausted and spent


Downy black feathers more like fur

two little charmers climb up on the back of her

Damp and tired, they push under the wings

with dad in tow watching over things


Family bonds are established and the teaching begins

two are now four, and their life's journey continues anew

The loons call's in the wilderness rings loud and true.