Crossing the Street on Wing

There’s something free and airborne in this child—
she flings her arms and spins when she moves,
hands arched and reaching for the sky,
hair blown like feathers on a breeze,
flying to a destiny up high.

I hold a wing to save her from the wild
and heedless world, though it’s a brief favor—
the restless hand she’s briefly granted me—
and she reminds me nothing is forever
with impatient pulling on my fragile prize.

We soar above the mortals on the street
for just a moment leaning toward each other.
But even as I try to memorize
the outline of the small bird that flutters
inside my hand, she’s left me, the grandmother.

. . . . .

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