My children proceed

as if all they see
is sentient: as if the balloon
with its stretched skin breathes.

Even its descent to the floor
after days and days of lift and hover
holds meaning. And the leaves

as they scatter over frozen ground
beg Liam’s question: “Where
will they sleep?”

When Maeve woke today,
she said, “I had zero dreams last night,” meaning
the nightmares, for now, were gone.

She hadn’t seen
the flicker, didn’t know
it fell dead on our deck,

wings spread wide, some
blue scattered feathers
almost suggesting a bed.

Her father can’t bury
the bird. His plan: to tie flies
from that scattering of feathers.

No wonder he looks
at the thousand shades
on each wing

and sees something beyond
this sudden crash, this death.
He sees a task, a fly, a piece

of the sentient world. He sees
a reflection of water, a fish rising
to catch sewn feathers, believing

they are nourishment,
life, the precise light
each of us so wants to own.

-Kate Reavey

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