I. The coots came home the week the bombs began. The dark dimples of their bodies rested in the divots of the ripples like the lake had cupped them in her hands in welcome. They floated so comfortably, A shade darker than the water’s shadows, ashy gray to barky brown. I watched one duck its white beak into the wet lift it again, chuckle then dive out of my sight in search of food. *** It is possible to exile a bird. Simply drain the lake during their summer wanderings. Clear out the weeds and pour in concrete. Let it harden and stripe it with white lines. In October the flock will return and feel the shining surface holds no moisture, they’ll peck the gray and find it gives no bugs or strands of lake weed. And they will seek another refuge. II. A month into the bombing I went to see the chum return. I watched them fling themselves out of the culvert beneath the railway and up the current. Their long, sleek bodies blended with the lines of running stream until they leapt, flashing their yellow bellies in a splash of effort. Down by the beach I saw their corpses washed back out to sea after their spawning, rubbed pale with the effort of their homecoming, their lifemaking. *** It is possible to exile a salmon. Build up a wall across their river so that they, following their memory run into a blank. Use up all that desperate effort against an obstacle that can’t be overcome until they fall, raw and exhausted, to the riverbed. Their purpose interrupted for the sake of commerce. III. They’d been dropping bombs one week when I went to see the crows come home to sleep, as they do every night in the trees above a campus wetlands. They cawed and flew from roof to roof above the commons echoing the absent students catching each other up on the latest gossip: where to find free food and who shows signs of pairing off. They strutted on the fields staging their own halftime, catching the bugs drawn by the flood lights and cackling over their snack. Then the lights clicked off. They lifted, blacker clouds against the blackening sky and settled on the outline of the trees. *** It is possible to make a flock a home. Simply allow the water to follow its native path, settle in the divots of the land and water green things, nurture trees until they are the right height to host a crow’s night’s sleep.