by Alasdair Blackwell


vibrant red feathers against the stark white snow
dashing through a colorless climate
where all has whimpered to the ail of winter.

yet you are warm,
for flight is your savior from the piling drifts
and your wings cut the ice in the wind
as deft as a blade sharpened on the hone.

yet you are hungry,
so you search amid the bleak, blinding storm,
led more by desperation than the overcast stars
like many of your fellow descendants of the navigators.

yet you know where to go,
even if you don’t comprehend that the artificial stars below
are the reason you starve, they’ll save you today
by illuminating the lawns bearing cylinders of seed.

so you perch and feast,
your stomach swells and ripens satiated
and you consider staying where food comes steady,
but the flat, manicured yards here provide no shelter

so you fly home,
where forest once flourished viridescent beneath blue skies
now the snow buries their skeleton branches cursing the gray,
except the pines, where you steal into their living hollow

and so the scarlet within continues through you
the flow preaching warmth and life despite the frigid wrath outdoors.
you fluff your rosy feathers, shiver, and settle.


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