This poem was written in response to a comment from kestrels_nest outside of a specific event. It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace, which you may explore further on the Serial Poetry page. Read about silkies and their colors.
The Fledging revealed
many things that had been hidden
including some adoptions that had been hushed up,
much to the consternation of those involved
as the mismatched plumage appeared,
perfectly buff flocks scattered by
eruptions of blue or black.
That which was hidden
out of shame or intent to harm
had a tendency to come out in feathers.
In more positive families,
adoption drew on common ground:
the Irish parents with their Italian daughter
all dressed in humble sparrow feathers,
the white parents with their black son
preening each other's pigeon wings.
blood might be thicker than water
but love would be thicker than blood.
In a rare few cases,
the spirit inspired feathers
that the body had no way to bring,
as the soulchild found a way to chosen parents
through someone else's passage,
matched wing to wing
beyond all parting.
Then there were the silkies,
with the fine fluff of the best setting hens
in black or white, blue or buff, calico or splash,
ginger red or the ever-popular partridge.
They always matched,
adoptive families showing their true colors,
one spirit though not one flesh
revealing marks of devotion.
Silkie feathers were common
among queer families and blended families,
among those who took in the different and the imperfect,
who understood the subtle wisdom that
love is a verb.