“What Would You Do with a Feather?”
—question asked by Grace Welch
I’m not one to wear it in a hat.
Nor would I tie it to a roach clip
blackened from the dope
I gave up years ago—too much
calling to memory for more.
I could build a pen with it
with a pot of ink for dipping,
but those wouldn’t be my words I wrote
between the lines of my journal
of thoughts. Mostly,
when I find a feather floating
on the grass or sidewalk—
pigeon gray or crow bleak—
I pick it up despite my parents’ having
warned me not to when I was young &
bird diseases sounded menacing
as Soviet missiles or acid
on a cartoon postage stamp.
I touch my finger to the sharpened root.
I run the blade across my palm,
drunk on sensation.
I don’t need much to bring enjoyment
back into my humdrum life.
I always love what’s accidental best.