What Feathers We Might Find There
By Peter Markus
Those places that he walks alone
or with his dog are like rivers
you can't step into twice.
The tracks left behind in the snow
or mud are mostly his own.
What if the birds crossing the sky
left evidence of wing-flap,
of beak-song. How would star or sunlight
break through such abundance?
What fine lines of symmetry
might we find there. What symbols
to decipher. The desire to choose
between water and air, tree and dirt.
To rise suddenly, largely unseen,
when what is a not-bird comes too near.
How we stop and look skyward with an envy
that plucks the heart of its feathers,
that pulls the not-winged among us down.
The rubber muck boots we walk in
sinking deeper into the mud.
Peter Markus is the Senior Writer with InsideOut Literary Arts and has a new book, When Our Fathers Return to Us as Birds, forthcoming in September from Wayne State University Press.