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A bird is three things:
Feathers, flight and song,
And feathers are the least of these.


At last I hold her in my hands
The shining bird whose flight along
The perilous rim of trees
Has made my days adventuresome, my spirit strong.


And now her wings
Are still--her vivid song
But ceaseless twitterings.


Her words are feathers, falling
Lightly, relentlessly, and without rest,
Revealing to my face
Her pinched and starveling breast
Like poultry, dead and unashamed
And naked in the market place.


A shattered flash of wings,
A broken song,
Echo and shine along the rim of trees.