The recluse in her rare way
said it was “the thing with feathers”
and specified a small bird
that sang in the gale.
I never found it winged
as bird or angel but something else
that arrived in my sleep.
A maiden draped in long folds of linen,
holding a plant soft plumed in green.
Most of her face was hidden
beneath fallen hair, a crystal eye
and pale mouth revealed.
She told me
to provide the dream and prayer;
then find this flower in the marsh.
hinged with the shimmer of dragonflies.
Spread its leaves along the door step
and let my breath become
the wind that gives them flight,
Spring that carries the waiting —
pinnatus in her ancient tongue.
Note — “The recluse” is a reference to poet, Emily Dickenson, who wrote a poem about hope and called it ” a thing with feathers”. The word “pinnatus” comes from The Latin, meaning “winged or feathered.”