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I am one of those lost northern geese
blown here in the night
on wings that now falter,
my certain, feathered grip now loosened
in the thin high mountain air.

Where I used to soar, I now drift.
Where I once lifted my voice, I can no longer sing.

I wander in place
hunting for pebbles of gold to tuck
into my craw.
But I find there is no gold left for me here.
Just the grey dust of granite softened first by grief, then
pounded by unforgiving stone until it is inert.

I fill my mouth with this raw, battered clay.
I swallow. Choke.
I am profoundly gravid with death.

Only gold will melt in this crucible I hold.
I must find new metal
out of which to make myself new wings,
a new song, perhaps even a new heart.
Earthbound, I fail: Where is my Morning Star?

Darlene Witte
Darlene Witte

Professor of Education, (retired) at Johnson State College in Vermont leads the Green Mountain Writers' Poetry & Performance workshop that meets on Zoom each month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7 PM ET. Find out more at https://www.meetup.com/green-mountain-writers

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