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Lark Feathers

At ridge bottom: the nest hut

of a meadowlark between stones and brush,

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its shape of flecked eggs intact.

Yards beyond, I step among yellow

breast feathers, scattered like inner petals

of sunflowers. Days like this,

when what's unspoken

seems immense, I listen

for the high trill of meadowlarks....

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Each feather gathered into my palm

reflects light like something alive:

a prism of vanes along quills,

the soft-wax polish of hues that will last,

like those along my son's window frame,

where he stuck hawks' feathers, a raven's,

a jay's. Intense iridescence

held through his childhood

and was left behind, still for saving,

when he went to college.

It's as though what descends to us on wings

is past event and time -

all our stirrings toward flight

shaped and upheld in plumage,

the unfailing fluency of birds.

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