Crane’s Feathers

This morning, I watched the world 

Build itself out of light.

Blue to give substance to shadow,

Red, then gold to quicken the spectrum. 

Within these moments, 

The forward flow of time lost its meaning;

Slowed, like a speaker running ahead of their thoughts;

Became a bud, halted in the act of unfurling. 

At first heard, unseen,

The raucous progress of Sandhill Cranes

Echoed, harsh against unforgiving walls of air,

An unskilled, woodwind cacophony. 

Then, overhead in strange grace,

They came in their multitudes, their feathers

Aflame with the beginning, gilded and roseate.

The motion of longing, limned clean.

I felt again the feather of your touch,

Contact. Your gaze, the memory of an arrow. 

Breathless and transfixed, I was wounded.

Held aloft, baffled by the wings of cranes.

The thrill of brief, unnatural flight, 
Pierced by the understanding of how it may end. 

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