I'm a poet and writer living in the South Jersey shore area. I moved here from North Jersey in January of 2009 after the 2008 death of my husband William J. (Bill) Higginson, author of The Haiku Handbook, to be closer to my daughter and family. I'm a mom, grandma, and occasional poet-teacher for the NJSCA. My work has appeared in many journals, and in twenty-some books (including chapbooks). I read at the Dodge Festival in 2010, and have enjoyed two poetry residencies at VCCA (January 2011; March 2015). Please visit my blog: http://penhart.wordpress.com and my website: www.2hweb.net/penhart. My newest books are Recycling Starlight and The Resonance Around Us: http://mountainsandriverspress.org/TitleView.aspx
When I see you, wings stretched wide
against the blue, sun threading your fringed
wingtips my shoulders tense as if they could
sprout wings, as if I could rise to coast the
thermals with you, gliding over the sunset
field, weightless and free.
Shaping the air with my flight, I'd learn
the way of hawk, learn to savor a keen
vision that sees scrambling prey, learn
to hover, dive and eat, not minding feathers
in my beak, or bones. Perched on a fencepost,
I'd strip my prize clean.
Look, we say to one another, there it is,
right there, just crossing the highway
heading toward the ridge. We crane our
necks, slow the car, roll down the window,
and already you have lifted us out of
ourselves, hawk, into your sky.
In last night's dream, I gathered up my
mother, small and easily draped over my
shoulder, to carry her off to some safe
haven. There was danger near us, maybe
flood or fire. And I woke before I knew
that she was whole.
Perhaps it was you I saved her from,
hawk, tiny creature that she was,
weaving her way through the tall grass
we all must brave on our path to sleep.
Or perhaps I was you, taking her back
to my ample nest, my little nestling.
©2017 Penny Harter
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