Linda Bierds
in Flight
from The Profile Makers (1997)
from “Shawl: Dorothy Wordsworth at Eighty”

[The concluding stanza in the voice of DW]

Once, I was told of a sharp-shinned hawk
who pursued the reflection of its fleeing prey
through three striations of greenhouse glass
the arrow of its body cracking first into anteroom,
then desert, then the thick mist
of the fuchsias. it lay in a bloodshawl
of ruby flowers, while the petals of glass
on the brick-work floor repeated its image.
Again and again and again.
As all we have passed through sustains us.


It is not just the arresting image that captivates. It is its protean dynamism that races through the scene: we are not sure upon where our gaze should land. There is no rest. Even death resists stasis.

We observers have passed through and continue passing. We are sustained only in passing.

And so for day 2718

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