Resurgam “I Shall Rise Again”
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Photo © 2016 Jennifer Wagner
our hostess tells us
the swallows do return yearly
though most nest at the hospital
now it’s the highest building.
They don’t tell you that—over there,
she quips, with a smirk and a nod
toward Mission San Juan Capistrano
and the ruins of The Great Stone Church.
Funny she reveals it to us here,
sitting in its shadow,
netting foot traffic
from history and legend.
But I appreciate candor,
cool and featherless—like me,
here in the shadows, post-quake,
growing less blind and
getting ready to rise again.
© 2016 Jennifer Wagner
Note: In 1806 The Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano was completed. It was devastated by an earthquake in 1812. Migrating cliff swallows from Argentina return yearly in March to use the exposed eaves of the ruins and surrounding areas to nest until October.