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Poem: "Heroes in Humble Feathers" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Heroes in Humble Feathers"

This poem came out of the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user Chanter_greenie.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.

Heroes in Humble Feathers

In Dallas there's a comedienne
who works the women's shelters,
bringing smiles and laughter
even through the tears.
She deals in hidden emotions,
speaking the unspeakable,
her wings a gleaming shadow on her back
like the sooty, brilliant plumage
of the grackles nesting in the loblolly pines.

Throughout Illinois there are farmers
who spend their days putting beans on the table
and paving the roads with kernels of golden corn.
Sometimes they pause to rescue stray kittens
or give a lost stranger directions to town.
Their brownish-gray wings have splashes of orange
under the shoulders, dark tails tipped with white,
like the robins who return every spring
bringing hope in their wake.

In Knoxville there's a man
who volunteers in the Appalachian Mountains,
taking firewood and other supplies
to campers unaccustomed to the wilderness
and its sudden, stormy temper.
He has the charcoal plumage of a dark-eyed junco,
outer tail feathers flashing white in the dim woods,
where once, it is said, he saved the life of a hiker
who had been mauled by a bear.

Along the east coast there are nightworkers,
the ones who keep the cities running
while everyone else sleeps,
clad in the mottled brown of whipporwills
with silver-gray shoulders on their soft wings.
They are often the ones who
pick up after muggings or worse,
their sweet voices soothing the victims
until the cops can arrive.

They are heroes in humble feathers,
nothing like the noble eagles or wise owls,
far simpler than the cherubim and seraphim
with their splendid colors all a-flutter in the wind,
but heroes nonetheless.

* * *


Everyday heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things to make the world a better place.  Here's a lesson about heroic figures in history.  You can develop a heroic code and learn how to be a hero yourself.

Read more about grackles, robins, dark-eyed juncoes, and whippoorwills.  These common birds play important roles in the ecosystem.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 26th, 2013 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Something i've been wondering about all through this series

How do clothes fit with wings?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 26th, 2013 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Something i've been wondering about all through this series

The clothes have to be redesigned to accommodate wings and tails. Some garments are more affected than others. I explored this in "Needlework."
2 comments or Leave a comment