Within the backward and upside
down flight of hummingbirds

a great blue heron’s ballad         billows: 
                         what is free in this bread-and-butter        fixed order
its red-lined tape binding        legs and feet? Inside 
                                 beguiling pistons heave tight hems:        we’re as free 
as my cat is to leave the house.     Tell me friend,
                                 are we tracking something new,     honestly
                                     I’m nothing but weary from Colorado to Lamma Island
 yet never-         the-less
have your feathers, like        a chickadee,
                               become puffed armor — for generations    legs and
    feet lay bare and uninsulated        meeting a blitz
                                       of wind and ice-covered words. I hear    some birds stay
      and face the middle of that        dark winter’s night
                                 contrary to seemingly impossible     odds.
                              I wish to be like a superb lyrebird with the loudest 
                    call in the world – I         would sing – 
Who has toilet paper and         can you leave me some?         
                                    Really, it’s as absurd as a waterfall with no     fall.         
In my opinion     we’ve come         undone but few 
                                 move within a perennial pendulum that is    soaked     
in the ancestor’s tale, when        we will wake        
                                            while capitalism burns lenity     and     hope   
                        tell me friend of your skill in palm and I will share
 mine – perhaps        it’s grassy
to purify and calm or            the hullabaloo of teas
                      and tinctures, a loamy sower or a seed    saver 
for when all becomes dead        of night maybe    
                                       you are a craftsman for a frosty dawn.     The song
of the morning bird drifts        me awake – 
                                                                  a new season is coming they cheep    and warble,     
                             sometimes I worry that winter birds will freeze near
       such cold nights         with modest
legs and feet, but they        are surprisingly well
                                                   adapted – they will not freeze below zero –    it is not
simply north in spring nor         south
                                                                 in winter – migration is rooted     in our bones.    
                               Tell me, can we greet winter like a dark-eyed junco?
with a chortle.
Portrait of Laura

Laura Titzer (she/her)

Laura lives on the native lands of the Coast Salish/Stillaguamish/Duwamish/Muckleshoot/Suquamish where Seattle, WA resides and is a writer, a lover of story, and constantly ablaze for learning, facilitation, and social change. She’s previously been published in Gastronomica, Kosmos, and A Growing Culture and is the author of No Table Too Small. She writes about social change, feminism, and decentering white dominant culture. She lives in adoration with her partner, cat, and ferrets.

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