Is it dropped from the same wing whose feather
you picked up to paint with years ago –
a watercolour of cars and houses
and plumy smoke? How many air-miles
has it flown above feathered winter fields
or ships cutting foamy wakes across the sea?

Migrating geese inscribe a vellum sky,
their spent quills strong enough to lift the heart,
freight all of us elsewhere, beyond ourselves.
My book’s pages fly open like a bird’s wings.

Mary Robinson