True Feathers

A poem.

True Feathers There is a hummingbird homologue
hereabouts that is not a bird,
but a moth with retractable
proboscis and iridescent wings.

You can't tell the difference
between the miniature avian
and its insect pretender
while they hover and sip nectar.

Only when it's
resting is it possible
to see through the moth's
glassine wings, which resemble
solid feathers while in motion.

So too, our own true feathers
show only in moments of repose,
and not when we gratuitously spin
our moth-thin wings.

Richard Schiffman

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