A blade in slow motion
strikes a construction crane—
and this reminds me they’re called birds:
the copter stills, tilts, drops
like a shot bird,
dragging a bucket of sand for the meltdown.
I rerun the 21-second film.
When its blade strikes a crane
the helicopter stalls, unsure
how to exit the scene.
(Belly up, crumpling.)
The blade strikes a crane
and the bird descends out of eyeshot,
What exactly am I feeling?
So I repeat it. It’s a fly brushed
from the face of God,
in the face of what can’t be contained.
A blade strikes the crane;
the bird’s descent
is another melting and becomes
Winslow Homer’s painting of ducks
stilled in flight by a hunter’s gun—
Or was it just snow on my TV that April,
enveloping the pilot
and a map of Europe?
What was happening to us all?
Not yet certain
what I was seeing, watching a bird—
or was it a sky—fall.
Copyright © Kathleen Flenniken
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.