Pin Feathers by Nicole Michaels

Pin Feathers

Your grief lives in a domed house
that you cover each night
with a fringed spread,

keeping it away from drafts.
It chirps and settles on a perch,
fluffs itself against the chill.

Mornings it bathes in a water dish,
eyes half open,
scatters seed with little enthusiasm,

grabs the bars between sandy toes,
lets go too soon,
ignores the cuttlebone, beak lengthening.

You took away the mirror
for fear it would encourage

leaving a small silver bell
loosely anchored
with a bread tie.

You rock the swing,
hoping to spark interest.
You read up on egg-bound

birds, start a Pinterest page,
watch as pin feathers
push to the surface,

the shafts filled with fluid,
the veins yet to expand.
Flight on the vine.

Tomorrow, you say, Tomorrow,
I will hang your cage
from a wrought iron hook

in the ceiling of a south facing porch.
I’ll trim your beak,
and teach you to speak

while the sun splashes you with lemons.

by Nicole Michaels

Editor’s Note: The extended metaphor of this poem uses detailed imagery to convey the persistence of grief and the fragility of love.


5 responses to “Pin Feathers by Nicole Michaels”

  1. Jill Clark Avatar

    I often find the content of the editor’s notes as fulfilling as the poem itself.

  2. Ed Shacklee Avatar
    Ed Shacklee

    That’s a lovely ending. This bird may not be so rare – a lot of us have had one around the house, at one time or another – but I’ve never seen it rendered quite this way. Well done.

  3. Ellen Davis Avatar
    Ellen Davis

    I really like this poem. As Christine says the extended metaphor reflects the long suffering of grief and how we try to carry on through it all.

  4. Bob Bradshaw Avatar
    Bob Bradshaw

    Lovely imagery

  5. Ali Grimshaw Avatar

    I like the hopeful ending, “I’ll trim your beak, and teach you to speak.” Knowing that grief will gain a voice makes me think that the healing process is moving forward.
    This was a wonderful read.

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