The sacred whirring of the smallest crickets.
Thistle stripped and strewn. Goldfinches
long gone. On the autumn trail that feels furthest
from the sun, the one that skirts the far wood
and where the unshorn meadow spreads
westward, the swallows swoop low from white ash
to thicket and back again, sating themselves
upon dragon- and damselfly. You can walk
through this storming of swallows and never
be blessed by the feel of flight on your skin.
Unless the thought suddenly crosses your mind
that they might rejoice within you, might
pierce the veil of your now translucent skin, might
plunge into your newly ethereal body to
pluck out your heart and carry it far out of reach:
It is then you will discover that this trail
you so innocently chose, now so wildly feathered,
wends not only through the afternoon, but also
through the afterlife, where you are attended
by wings, by both the known and the unknowable.
by Dorene Evans
Editor’s Note: This poem is deceptively simple in the first part with its pretty description of an autumn scene, but then progresses into unexpected mystical surrealism in the second stanza. Delightful.