As the sun blows away from the east,
in the stripped tree by the far fence
the eagle breaks through,
too big, too bright
too blue, come carrying all
the questions of white weather,
cold electric blue in all his parts.
He moves on the bare branch reflexively, restlessly,
a ruffling knife wind at his back full of every
promise of change and threat of frost,
pulling an azure flight feather
through his solitary note of yellow,
stiletto beak a drooping mask
in harlequin opposition.
Improbable of color and shorn of motion, he sits
in a stillness that is not repose,
a being of want and promise, his eye on
an oblivious thing, small and fat
hunkering at my feet, that one
of all my charges I've loved
but not too much.
The eagle watches from the border
of the breathing lands, as I stand my
half-hearted guard, his bright head cocked
to one side like a ragdoll’s flops,
his mouth unlatched, impatient,
his indigo eye kindling like a flare, burning
blue warning in the impending night.
His great wings draw up in clouds,
shadows spread dark on the sky
crackling loud in the apricot sunset,
bent legs folding flowers under the storm.
His hoarse cry springs the feather, spinning
sudden and singular it hangs between us
centering the worlds.
Then he’s read me, all I am.
He jumps the wind, a flying bolt of blue gone
forever far from where the bars of arms draw in
and sleet falls on the sacrifice heartcovered
in my breast, safe
from that one stray moment’s wish
to give it up to make the eagle stay.
Image: Electric Blue Feather, by tallmonkee on flickr