Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Flocking Together"

This poem is spillover from the February 2, 2021 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "Cattail - Peace and Prosperity" square in my 2-1-21 "The Language of Flowers" card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.

"Flocking Together"

The Druze woman
and the Christian man
found each other first,
drawn together by a hint

of wings held in common --
the Palestine sunbird.

Hers are soft brown with
pale underparts, but his
have metallic shoulders
and a hidden tuft of orange.

No matter how fraught the history,
somewhere their ancestors had
found a bit of common ground.

The Sufi woman and
the Ashkenazi man
find each other next.

He is preening his feathers
in the hot desert sun when
she sees him and goes over.

Her family had disowned her
for her wings, and she couldn't
bring herself to care that she
shouldn't talk to strange men.

As it turned out, his family
had kicked him out too.

She offers to preen
his feathers, in the back,
where it's hard to reach.

And he accepts.

The two couples
discover each other
sitting in the plaza of
the dancing fountain.

They look at their wings,
the same sunbird story
shining in each of them,
and they decide that history
is old news compared to
the peculiar new hope
of flocking together.

So they leave their city
and set off to build
something new.

What God has joined,
let no man put asunder.

* * *


Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze histories intertwine in complex and often violent ways. Ashkenazim are Jews primarily from Germany, greatly impacted by World War II.

The Palestine sunbird spans Palestinian and Jewish populations, sometimes spilling over to other people in the area. It has been suggested as the national bird of Palestine. See the distinctive sunspots, the male's iridescent cape of feathers, and the female's drab plumage.

Read about the Palestinian territories and see a map of Israel and Palestine. Palestinian territory has shrunk as Israeli territory has expanded.
Tags: community, cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing

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