Forest of Fallen Birds This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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the sky is painted pale pink
soft clouds of lilac spread across
to me they look like feathers
wispy strands of mist

if the clouds are feathers
does that mean the sky is wings?

my gaze pans down
away from the feathered sky
past the feathered trees
and to the feathered ground

dawn's light washes the forest in soft sunlight
the long, distorted shadows of the trees
reach toward me
fingers of dark feathers
grabbing at my skin
my hands
my toes
toes that curl into the layers of feathers
and take a step


I look down.

The feathers on the ground are the bodies of dead birds
that blanket the earth.
The feathers on the trees are the remnants of dead birds
speared on the ends of sharp branches.

Beneath my foot
is the skeleton
of a dead bird.

That is why they have sent me here.
To join these fallen birds
who dropped from the trees
one by one
as their wings failed.

But they were wrong.
For how can I join them
if I never had wings in the first place?

(look up)

i see that the feathers in the sky
are the souls of dead birds
spread across the heavens
to create a pair of wings for the earth.

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