Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Spirit's Wings"

This poem is from the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "wingfic" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest and the "You give me wings to fly" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. Based on an audience poll, this poem has been sponsored out of the general fund. It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.


"The Spirit's Wings"


All up the Avenue of Flags they come,
a line of couples stretching up
to the Alabama State Capitol,
their presence a silent statement that
love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds

There are two black women holding hands,
both with the wings of the eclectus parrot,
but one has the red wings of a female
and the other has the green wings of a male.

There are two Hindu men with their hands
in each other's pockets, both of them
with the ruddy wings and eye-spotted tails
of Indian blue peacocks.

A couple of Creole women flutter
their cuckoo silkie wings to herd
half a dozen foster children with
rainbow skin and silkie wings of
their own in black, blue, white,
grey, buff, and partridge.

A man with the scarlet plumage
of a northern cardinal stands beside
another with the yellow-black-blue wings
of an eastern rosella on his shoulders,
the orange wings of a Guianan cock-of-the-rock
on his hips and a third tiny pair fluttering
at his ankles, the green-orange-yellow wings
of a rainbow lorikeet. The seraph's heart is
so light that he can't keep his feet on the ground
and his groom has to keep tugging him down.

It is this last which gives the bigots pause,
their misspelled signs drooping in their hands
and cruel chants stuttering to a halt
as they come face-to-face with the proof
that God has written in colorful quills:

This too is holy.

* * *

Notes:

"Love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Same-sex marriage recently became legal in Alabama, causing bigots to freak out. This is the Alabama State Capitol.

The eclectus parrot is notable for its sexual dimorphism, in which the females have red plumage while the males have green. In this setting, some genderqueer people have wings that don't match their chromosomes. And some don't.

Peafowl are native to India and some other places.

Silkies are chickens with fluffy hairlike feathers, famed as brooders. In this setting, silkie wings can indicate a particularly nurturing person. Cuckoo is one of the many silkie colors.

Here's an article featuring several of the most colorful birds. Both cardinals and seraphs are among the holiest people.
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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