Pathfinder

The coin is in the air.

World – no details – turns dreaming to memory:
prints in the dust, a trace of totem, a feather like a bird’s.

Souvenirs to be drawn with the left hand sensing hair, bone, flesh,
wings lifting light.

Never flew one of these things before,

don’t under stand the controls
What do I do when the bridge becomes a tunnel?
The walls are too tight, I’m losing feathers.

Landing abruptly, welcomed by trees, I look down to see
my prints in the earth, feathers, and a puzzling device,

interlocked circles of night and day, an artifact, something made.

Is this what draws me? I feel a rhythm of tracking like jungles slashed
with flashing knives, glints of gold and green, sap bleeding,
leaves rustling in their decay, inexorable forward pulsing
forming a track, a path, a new way of being.
I feel newness in my wings; artifacts, something made.

Breathe. Receive the air. Take what I need. Send the air out.

Through white shutters, day comes
with weather, machines, finches, jays, oak branch striving.

Oats. Walnuts. Oranges. Fire. I see the wood on the porch and turn my head.
My feet are on the floor.
Arms full of split oak, I remember again,
O yes, the dream! Cloven prints on the path. Feathers. Coin. Woods.
Deer trapped by the new highway,
learning to fly.

Joanna Wiebe, March 25, 1989

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