Little Bird Warrior

I feel you softly
Like a bird,
A whisper of touch,
The small pricks of tiny claws,
Too delicate to cut flesh,
Too tender to impart harm.

I’ve seen you,
fly and plummet,
Try and fail,
Sink and rise above.

I’ve seen your spirit
Ineffectual to your own eyes
Yet vibrant to mine
And more powerful
Than anyone
Even you,

The first bird arrival
After a howling winter gale
Moments before spring touches
The land around,
Breathless, invisible,
The first of many,
But the first.

I see the power in your
In the space behind where
You’ve trodden,
Following you like
Your noble shadow.

I’ve seen you nursing wounds
Ages deep,
I’ve seen you carry them
Strong to spite them,
And I’ve seen you crack
Under pressure,
Like a too weak limb
Caught in the wrath
Of a blizzard.

I’ve seen your wings
Crumple inward
In the onslaught of storm
Laying naked, vanquished,
and alone,
I’ve seen you crawl
Beak first
To the nearest winter berry
And survive
Even then.

I’ve seen your power
Even when hidden
In a tiny birds frame,
I know there’s a lion there waiting
To take the tiny birds place.

Do not forget your power.
Do not give in to the bleak.
Forgive and love the demons
That taunt and keep you weak.

I’ve seen your power,
When it’s held me fallen,
A fragile and broken thing,
And you taught me
To eat berries
While I nursed my
Own broken wing.

And together we can find it,
The wisp of wind
Beneath our wings,
The fast and fervent pace
Of migrating,
To the promise of Spring.

-Angel Marie Russell


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