a feather for his hat

he could see the bird
from a distance

black and raucous
it flew
toward him

with every other wing flap
it uttered a harsh call
and vomited

spat

a bolus of flame
like lightning
when it strikes

behind the bird
a pocked trail
of small fires burned

before it
he waited

he was not some kind
of hero
but he understood that
this
was an appointed task

and so he waited
while the bird
flapped
and crowed
and spat

low it came
making no attempt
at deviation

while
stilled
he stood
tense
and waiting

when it happened
it was over
quickly

one moment
the bird was ejecting
its vitriolic gout

the next
he had reached out
up
and caught it

hugged it fiercely to himself
heat and spit and call
until …

it was himself
that he was hugging

there was no bird
that was not
a part of him

as he called a wild
raucous cry
the last traces of bird fire
burning along the now obsolete
back path
gave way

died out

he bent to the ground
to gently lift
one black flight feather
which he fixed
somberly
into the band
of his hat

~

Poem #335 from a series of poems drawn from the imagination and collected as: a Bachelard reverie.

Back to Bachelard and me – Introduction

8 thoughts on “a feather for his hat

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