“Weather is a sense of nature.     Poetry is a sense.” 

   Wallace Stevens

Poetry of Travel, Poetry of Place

Flight 

 

I wince. In reflex, my left hand shields my eyes

against wing snap, against the urge to stop 

for a flock on the highway, muttering recollections… 

 

parents launched by a car that filled the rearview 

mirror. The news of their departure from this life 

soon feathered from summer radios on the half hour. 

 

This tinted windshield raises invisible eddies. 

A flight of pigeons spreads skyward with red feet. 

Again birds will cluster on roadsides, settle in eaves. 

 

Were I a latter-day Pandora unlocking and releasing 

Misfortunes' rush from a sprung box of myth, I'd note

they turn to feed on us, not on insect, fruit, seed.

 

Hope beguiles us yet again to open lids. What’s inside 

may be a gift—another heart to hold up to all ills—

or a crush greater than any other, the cries as bodies 

 

shatter safety glass, and, after....You’ve heard 

Hope’s whisper, its lift releasing secrets. 

Here escape's a blur upward, and surrounds us

 

as we speak. Wing-fanned, we race against what is 

unavoidable, like wind, or shadow, or the next tick 

of the blood’s clock, as though luck itself had wings.

   

  first published in The Examined Life Journal

© 2016 by Kathleen S. Burgess.

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