"Hope is the thing with feathers." ~ Emily Dickinson
Hummingbird in the house,
even my cat is stunned
by the whirring blur
of miniature wings.
In an instant I catch it,
cup it gently in my hands.
She’s lighter than meringue
or a marshmallow,
a packing peanut, a petal,
a dandelion puff, or a cotton ball.
She’s a vibrating whiff of gray smoke,
this balsa wood of birds.
I open my hands to the sky
and watch her arc to a high branch.
She un-ruffles her feathers,
scans her surroundings, and swoops
to rejoin her grenadine mate
at the red feeder.
Only two feathers; one from her tail,
the other from her wing, both sheer as silk,
shafts as slender as sewing needles,
smoke-black, sand tan, cloud-tipped,
with a sheen of fairy green,
were proof that I wasn’t dreaming.
When I’m uninspired, I’ll take out the two feathers,
and remember the wonder of this.
(c) 2007 Marissa Dodge