for my father

A golden feather
sanded smooth, a slenderness
in small print.

In the brain’s geography,
your absence is a distant place  ––
like the mountains we walked in

the day grandmother’s straw hat
blew off into the valley
and I cried.

You were kind
and said there would be another,
but I knew better.

The life of birds: most fledglings
won’t reach an age suitable for building
a nest of their own.

Impediment –– to impair the feet,
when muscles tense and miss their footing,
stumble on, the step already lost.  

For many years, the birds kept time on earth...
You came back, slowly walking
to where I would be born.

So many eggs, so many nests
clustered around the ovary tree.
So much that always is in waiting.

A bird will find its space.
You float a while,
come closer...