At ridge bottom: the nest hut
of a meadowlark between stones and brush,
its shape of flecked eggs intact.
Yards beyond, I step among yellow
breast feathers, scattered like inner petals
of sunflowers. Days like this,
when what's unspoken
seems immense, I listen
for the high trill of meadowlarks....
Each feather gathered into my palm
reflects light like something alive:
a prism of vanes along quills,
the soft-wax polish of hues that will last,
like those along my son's window frame,
where he stuck hawks' feathers, a raven's,
a jay's. Intense iridescence
held through his childhood
and was left behind, still for saving,
when he went to college.
It's as though what descends to us on wings
is past event and time -
all our stirrings toward flight
shaped and upheld in plumage,
the unfailing fluency of birds.