Feathers (Song For Kathleen)
Hazel Simmons-McDonald

If they should ask

when the fading light

captures the lingering length of your shadow

across the empty yard

and your echo hangs on the tail of evening

Why does she chase feathers so?

 

I may not say

although I’ve watched you

forty thousand hours and some

skipping tip-toed across the grass

to catch the faintly falling down

down –

            drifting

                        to your outstretched hand

while some bird

in whose moulting you delighted

and whose young life you captured

in this cedar box

hovers now above you

fluting a faint madrigal.

 

And even as you venture

From beneath its shadows wing

to wave the setting sun along his way

it’s hard to know

the purpose of your pilgrimage

around this fenced-in yard

gathering drifting down that

carelessly adorns your hair.

But I know that for this time

you are mistress of this space

and Time doesn’t ask why

but delights in your wandering

wonder-filled in your joyful taking

of these softest of heaven’s gifts

down

         d

            r

                i

                   f

                       t

                         i

                            n

                                g

                                    into

                                       your

                                           life.

© 2020 Kathleen McDonald

West Indies | California SF Bay Area