Sunday, June 01, 2014

Why We Have Wings

Flying Over Wisconsin

—Allegra Silberstein, Davis

I have not gone on pilgrimage
or lain prostrate before a saint
but long ago on a high hill
in Wisconsin, when swollen buds
burst from pale purple casings
into tender green, I danced
a liturgy and in their blaze
of autumn color, I sang an anthem.

In later years I have not often
knelt in prayer on kneelers
pulled down at church
but I’ve bent my knees
and bowed my head
into the north wind
driving against me

and when the time came
to turn back, I’ve felt its force
along vertebrae and scapulae
so strong, I knew how wings
must have evolved.