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March 20, 2023

The Truth About Birds

By Charlie Brice

"How the skin ached as the feathers
shot out toward light."
                               Jim Harrison

The Truth About Birds

Now that I'm a bird
I have to face my fear of heights.
I didn't know a bird could sweat,
but here I am atop a cedar
quivering and hot.

Don't look down, advice
from my former life, but
why become a bird
if I can't look down?

I'm no Helios in his chariot
or Icarus in waxy clouds.
I'm not imitating a bird,
I am a bird whose nature
shuns gravity.

There is nothing for it.
I must do what all birds do:
let a blanket of sky swaddle me
in its splendor, trust silvery thermals
to weave me into wing, call
to Aether, the mother of space,
and let go.

Article © Charlie Brice. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-05-18
Image(s) are public domain.
2 Reader Comments
07:12:56 PM
What a lovely poem! And the ending, delightful; marvelous and stunning,!
Gary Metras
09:28:41 PM
Well-crafted: transition from human to avian in 1st two stanzas really sets up the reader for pivotal stanza 3: It is always a good idea to bring into a poem, especially one of a magical subject matter, Greek mythology. Then Wham! in the final stanza we are all a bird! Marvelous.
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