Maiden Flight
 
Her hands quiver her fingers
in the cuffs of her habit,
the black knot of cloth a skin
 
too tight. Above the barren trees
an anvil cloud collapses, the air
so light it hovers just beyond
 
the touch of breath. The sky melting
over the hysteria of peacocks
and the denial of the loon. The stalking
 
fog snaking closer, its chill grip
flickering tongue and gossamer
shifting shape, rising in hunger
 
over a sapped creek, up
the raw crease of a rugged swale
toward the lure of the moon
 
and a seine of clouds dangling
from the darkening sky.
She undoes her clasp and slips
 
off into the storm. The rain
drops. A lone condor carves
its way higher, scimitar wings
 
reflecting the absence of light
through the ascending mist
rising to its source.

 


 Published in Pilgrimage