Bird Shadow

Gull feather on sand
Taking an age
to dredge keys from
silted pockets,
something stilled you

at the car door–
alarm and flight,
the damp smack
of wing, muscle.

It raked the stave
of bony birch,
a glissando
of quick shadow.

Clearing the trees,
it slipped through your
slow gaze, gaily
surpassing you.

Higher than you
thought, it idled
on an apex
of hidden air.

It returned to
ink-spill its ghost
on the blank ground
and snatch it back.

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