“Improbable Wings” by Katrina Roberts

Issue 66

Found in Willow Springs 66

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After months

the raccoon family finds

a loose hem of chicken wire.

Grey brindled steel

wool, sticky viscera.


somewhere within

my daughter

eggs that may become




One handy trick

is to use salt.

Everything is personal.

How clean and soft beneith

my stroking hand, how quiet

and still the two left

are--as if practicing

for death. Once upon a time,


one at a time

each of these urchins

curled within me. Three

times over I've been a woman

with two hearts.

Wings wands stars tulle

ribbons capes sequins. All flash

All flash and approximation. Tricky

hands; thick skin.

And windows


cannot necessarily keep out

what the wind throws

against them.

Two laps

round the vineyards

make for sleepy kids. I hold

close as before

I wake they will have



Hierarchies of all--clouds,

cats, dreams, vintages,

hues. O, miracle of feathers!

Barred Rock silver

and jet. Ticked orange. White

Leghorns--tufts caught

where they shouldn't be

in high holes.


One trick is to use tonic.

One trick is to use sand. O fleet

of foot. O, fine as dew evaporating.

Pale brown shells,


Q: "How big is the egg I was?"

A: "Vast as wind you were

named for and equally

invisible." O, utterly reliable

osmosis. My own


words come back

to baffle me. I've been loved thin

as a plush rabbit, threadbare

even--shined to one more

myself than ever

like heavy gold icons

rubbed through

to wisps

by the reverential.

I like to think


our one downy girl

whose carcass we have

not found might come scrabbling

today from underbrush

skirting Caldwell Creek

when she hears

in the pail



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