They call from a childhood I never owned –
two barefoot girls on the river island.
Stumbling over rocks
they stoop to pick up feathers
and thread them in their hair,
heavy as curling papers,
strong as goose wings.
They look up and wave,
hoot with laughter.
Then they are gone.
There is only white litter in the stones,
geese battling the stream,
two in flight.
I hear the gentle gust
of air and beak-blow,
the rattle of wing beats
and I am left on the parapet like Dedalus,
begging them to fly close,
to be careful,
to stay wild.

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