Turbulent skies strangle thoughts
of soft landings,
wings flapping terror and toil
in the black of the day,
blind muscles propel upwards
in the eye of the war
against its breath / the bird livid and numb
in freefall / rising above
the mud and wild winds
colliding with wall after wall.
Only frayed feathers to show for
and creeky claws
beak cut open / the air begets not
one whisper of the crushing.
But the softness of the feathers finds
a port in the bosom of the warm earth
rising / to pull the broken-winged down
into love's plane for a soft landing
not so accidental / every feather smoothed
the bird rises and touches down
as time prescribes
and the soft warmth of the earth commissions.
Anita Alig 2018