You said you saw a feather fall from the sky
And that it reminded you of him
That it was a sign he was okay
Maybe even in a better place
That it descended from heaven
From his gentle and majestic wings.
I dismissed it as coincidence,
As just another shift in the wind,
With a bitterness I regret.
For what are these poems
But an attempt to seek communion
And truce with that which has faded
And will not fade?
I wish I could believe what you said
And I wish sometimes that you didn’t
Because there is no glory, no elegance, in death
Only desolation, and oblivion, and tears shed
In the throes of pain and mourning.
I’m scared that you cling
To this like a desperate vision
Of release, as if hope can only ever be a relic
And that you only believe in heaven
Because of despair that we cannot change the present
As if these conditions of oppression
Are some twisted celestial plan
And we must acquiesce to drudging toil and suffering
As some virtue, as inexorable and meaning something
As if a test restituted by some future redemption
As if compassion were some barb-wired bargain.
But I sometimes wonder whether dreams of salvation
Are that different from thoughts of revolution.
Maybe we’re all just waiting
Under the dominion of spectres
Invoking barriers and illusions
To soften their sting.
So I hope you see more cascading feathers
And I’ll keep writing
Both hoping that angels can deliver us from here
And envelop the perished with their wings
Hoping we can soar, and surge amongst clouds, and sing
A hymn which soothes the roar of the wind
Hoping, praying, that there is something more than this