By | 1 June 2013

All day those birds, the nurses
flutter in their blue plumage.

He stares through the window
at a swatch of heaven,

sees the neat white
stitches of a jet.

Something flickers
in the corner of his eye:

a feather, buoyed by a cobweb
outside the glass,

buoyant on the currents
of the air.

He understands
why the feather moves,

how a spider’s net
has ensnared it

as he has understood
from the surgeon

that it will take six weeks
moored by the ballast of traction,

until the unhinged wing
of his pelvis heals.

All day he hears birds
praising the sky

until dusk
when sparrows scatter

their crumbs of song
and the nurse completes

the diurnal graph
of his vital signs

like the curves and dips
of a swallow–

the closest he’ll get
to flying.

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