“Of Feathers” by Bettina T. Barrett

Bettina T. Barrett


Cindy is dying and all day
feathers are falling
in front of my eyes             they drift
like leaves             from palm fronds
from trees             past the windshield
of the car when I drive

air lifts them across hedges
sidewalks             and in my patio
they cling to the fence or roll
down the hill of the blue umbrella

from the high hills an owl feather
rests in the palm of my hand
pale gold and so light I can barely
feel it

where is the dividing line
between the here and the there? the moment
weightless between one step and the next
I listen as she pulls at each breath             visible
even as the invisible opens

my touch on her forehead just a whisper
of the air I can feel on my skin

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

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