to my dearest, greatest fear:

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 03:24 -- Erin.E

I have meaning, past my purpose. I do.


I know this. I am even - most days - convinced of it.


Of this, my dearest, most familiar fear, I offer this proof:



I found a feather, today.


I found many feathers. first one, then another

and another





They were long

and short





and gray.


one- was speckled

with a fine dusting

of that very rich shade of brown

that blood takes

when it has been dry only a few hours.


Holding those feathers, today, which i had paced, back and forth and back and forth,

to collect,

it struck me-


I drove today

From the place where I work

-a place where people, angry at other people, try fervently for their pound of flesh-

Down a road nicknamed ‘Blood Alley’ for how often people die on it

for how often people die violently on it

to ride a horse far larger than myself,

plenty capable- of hurting me

on purpose (unlikely), by accident (likelier).

plenty capable- of killing me

on purpose (unlikely), by accident (likelier).



at this barn that i go to

i heard first one -then many- sirens

and was alarmed

how many ambulances, fire trucks would be needed

to make such a noise

and then was relieved to  realise

that there was only

the one.

the battalion of emergency vehicles

that i had thought

that i had heard

was merely the family of coyotes

that i know to live nearby)



I do this thing

where injury is not just likely

but assured- and frequently! -

I do this thing every week.

more than that.

thrice. most often.

more. if i’m able.


Today, when I found the first feather - of many - i was surprised. i saw another. what luck!, i thought.

And then another. and another. and then. another. and- not the last, perhaps the fourth- another. with a smudge of blood on it.


Oh. i thought. and: something died here, i understood.


and so I collected my

- mine now, yes, whatever had them before certainly isn’t using them now-

handful of feathers

- from the gravel from the grass from the dust from the dirt -

with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.


i put them down

on the passenger seat of my car

tucked all together,

so they would not blow away

and i drove home down the road called Blood Alley

singing -badly, cheerfully- all the way


something to think about.


This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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