“Hope” is the thing with feathers — 
That perches in the soul — 
And sings the tune without the words — 
And never stops — at all — 
(Dickinson 314)


Charles Wallace’s drive of dragons was a single creature, although Meg was not at all surprised that Charles Wallace had confused this fierce, wild being with dragons… And wings, wings in constant motion, covering and uncovering the eyes. When the wings were spread out they had a span of at least ten feet, and when they were all folded in, the creature resembled a misty, feathery sphere. Little spurts of flame and smoke spouted up between the wings; it could certainly start a grass fire if it weren’t careful. Meg did not wonder that Charles Wallace had not approached it.
(L’Engle, A Wind in the Door)


My feathered thing is a drive of dragons
wings fire eyes flashing — 
My feathered thing is a murder of crows
dancing darkly in claustrophobic soul — 
My feathered thing is cherubim, angel wing,
fear-inspiring, following biblical precedent —

Hope perches flutters flaps unsettled — 
A troubling of hummingbirds, exhausting,
a watch of nightingales, anxious — 
Hope is a siege of herons and
a ballet of swans, kicking spinning
dizzying pressure from within walled heart—

The crowing tune echoes piercing
sleepless night, distracted day — 
My feathered thing cannot be silenced
and I dare not approach though
the soles of my shoes are worn
to shreds — too much nocturnal dancing—

Hope sings most stridently, flutters most
fiercely, frantically, when a simultaneous
terror of deadening disappointment draws near — 
Hope is a type of unreasonable bravery,
a nauseating feathered stampede stirring
reckless motivation, sailing so close to the sun —

Hope is the flaming feathered wheel
generating human movement toward
discovery danger love and pain—
Hope is pregnancy after stillbirth and
my god it hurts it burns and 
its flight is irresistible —

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