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Bird Bones

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Upon the ground against the dirt
I see it: the skeleton of a bird long passed.
Sightlessly staring at the sky.
The cage of its ribs gleaming white,
its keeled breastbone, strung
in perfect harmony
against those outstretched bones of wings.
That still contain the yearning,
the aching memory of flight.

I stop to look at those old bones
huddled on the dark brown earth,
like fledglings too afraid to fly.
Within – I see their hollow chambers,
cathedrals in a dust-bound world.
Sacred geometry delicately forged,
gossamer webs beneath the dark.
Singing lowly of the children
that lived in days before this bird.

The bones begin to speak to mine;
whispers, just the barest voice.
Telling of the bird's old life.
Reminiscing of an era,
an echo of a time long past.
Within the bones I see our world,
the inscribed story of all life:
the history of a million years,
of distant and primeval peoples
Refusing yet to be forgotten.

Shallow seas act as a womb;
a cradle; the stirrings of life contained
in its evanescent hold.
Armored ancestors tread the sand
beneath, waiting for their day to come.
They are pedantic, a slow remembrance
of what will slowly come to pass.
And then – the conquering of the land,
an overtaking of worlds unknown.
The distant change from earth to air,
as creatures start to claim the skies.
With cries of joy, of perfect ecstasy
knowing they are all unchecked.
Their bones remain a constant warning
that they are bound to the earth still
a constant temperance to their flight.

And even so, as time still dances,
and as the shallow seas conjoin,
and as the air begins to empty,
and as the creatures lay down to die.
Their bones lay testimony to their lives.
The history of our entire world,
the echo of their constant story -
all contained within these bones.

The bird's old skeleton lies untouched
save my careful observations.
I blink, and see them as they were:
the children of a careful plan,
evolution at its best
designing this uncanny blueprint
to celebrate the joy of life.

I turn to walk, and stop once more.
Look back and see these old bird bones.
Not simply bones, but something more:
The story of the urge to fly.
Of oh how long that we have waited
and simple ballast, the reminder
that we will always find the ground.
so that despite the joyous movement,
of life and all its changing songs –

That there is something to slow us down





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