White feather

Water sheds from each leaf
Something white and feathery, in that susurration
As if the poplar, in bird guise
Was wont to fly away, but shamed
By the brute, demarcating quill
To hold and shiver, await
A falling axe
I think it was a goose, I don’t know why
They once thought a sign suitable for cowardice
A piercing bird, high and far-journeying
With that strange lifelong bonded love
That we wish we had
In the misshape of our victories
Somehow, more important than a war
A feather fallen to the grass
Jewelled with droplets
In the placid, stillness in between
The morning’s chasing rain
An unwanted grace
Gone in the next upswirling breeze

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