Flight Preparation

Wings open, testing their tensile strength,
seeing if spirit is ready to fly beyond our world.
Like a baby chick’s, they beat the air
to no avail, then settle back down into flesh.
Her breath catches, but otherwise she remains
unaware of this aborted flight.

Sitting back in her rocker,
she finds herself being carried off to a realm
far removed from this one—Depression-era
De Sotos in the yard, rockers on rickety porches,
fireflies lighting the way as a jalopy
brings supplies back from town.

Feeling her connection to this world
diminishing, the wings start beating again.
Flesh and spirit both make
innumerable unseen calculations.
Sputtering flames look for air to breathe,
all systems on alert for subtle signs
of impending motion forward.

She only feels the end result of all this
internal movement—exhaustion—
as she lays her head down on the pillow.
Willingly consigning her future to whatever
must happen, she closes her eyes.
Grateful for the felt sense that forces
beyond her control are taking care of her,
all her muscles begin to let go,
her spirit quietly flutters, moth-like,
as it peruses its long-time abode,
as it prepares for its departure.

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