Molting

Sometimes I see forever before knowing if I can make it. Sometimes life falls apart like clumps of dirt held tightly in my hands.

Will I be scattered on the wind this time, like the spokes of a wishflower? The force of air and spit from a mouth thrusting me into the unknown?

Or will kind hands place me back in the water like a fish, moving me to and fro to revivie me, until I propel like an arrow in the only direction I know: forward?

Or will time heal my wings in my warm nest, until I can fly again? And what kind of bird will I be, then?

Will I be a sparrow and find my many friends? Will I eat seeds in the fields, or will I scavange city streets for scraps?

Will I be a crow and chase away all who are not my kind? Will I feast on man’s trash: the discarded for my harvest?

Will I be a snowy owl, with the gift of sight at all hours? Will I be female so I can keep some of my dark marks? Will I be chased when found alone and exposed on my crests and dunes?

Will I be a tiny finch at the forest edge, showing off my voice in the noisy crowd, safe in numbers, slightly anonymous, except to my flock who love my show and my eye for food? Will I lead them to plenty?

Or will I be a hawk, alone, hunting for smaller prey to squeeze the life out of for nourishment? Will my only company be the pursuit, my days spent gliding on ridges and brushing through tree tops, always searching, always hungry?

Will my skeleton be found someday with a cracked wishbone from my dangerous life?

If I will be a bird then how often will I shed old feathers so new ones can grow?  And if I stay somewhere too long, will I pluck them out myself to keep the rhythm of instinct?

Sometimes I saw forever before knowing if we could make it.  Sometimes I hurt myself just to find out if we could.

If love is risk and truth is freedom, there is a time to land, and a time to fly; A time for growth and a time to molt.

Copyright © 2019, Sheyorah Aossi

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Photo by Doug Hitchcox at Macaulay Library.

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