News Heard Upon Returning from an Ecstatic Migration

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/5/08

Those mornings when he sat quietly, facing east,
And let the sun, exuberant embosser,
Paint the worry of darkness from his features,
Was it then, when seeing the sky blue each leaf,
When happiness overwhelmed him with birdsong;
Was it then, when he decided to return?
Was it then, when he first breathed the exhalations
Of the forgotten ones, his own dead crowding his pulse,
And spelling their woes? Was it then,
That the Flesh-Man, defying the Man-of-Words,
Saw suddenly the procession of the Mothers,
Each one dragging the umbilical tale of a birth,
Mute histories of trivia, blood, and trouble?
They turned and faced him with this accusation:
“When did your human disappear,” they asked him,
And this half-avian, half-storm-cloud orator
Content himself with the poetry of flight?”
Was it then when this fabulous composite
Heard their hubbub from his perch upon the wire?
“Life, even here,” sang the Mothers through his body,
“In the roil of these trivial cosmetics,
“Of mortgages and sound-bites and deceits, is all we own.”
Theirs was the sweetest intoning of consternation,
A sound that shook the feathers from his wings,
And pressed his penitent forehead to the ground.

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