It Begins and Ends Here
My pillow rocks and bangs
through another wash cycle.
Millions of feathers breaking down
from the weight of water.
When the pillow’s finally flat,
I will love it even more
for its dust of crushed shafts and barbs.
Feathers like these warmed geese
that flew over lakes named Rice or Star.
After their frost-clear barking faded,
I’d find down drizzled in fields, roadsides.
Good pickings, I thought, for a mouse’s den.
Or that oriole nest I found
fashioned from feathers, birch bark
and dental floss. Tacked to cattails,
it sags with its egg weight.
As a girl, I left my crude watercolor
of geese and cattails in the rain.
Days later I found it under the lilac,
warped, mottled and more beautiful.
Look, mother. I made it with God’s help!
Today, I pull off the road
and turn the radio up.
Some story about bank thieves,
thousands stolen. In the chase,
a bag blew out a window. The wind scuttled
fives and ones into woods and water.
Fishermen found them weeks later
woven into a beaver’s dam. All bills
whole and spendable.