Moonbird glides while the town sleeps,
her silver wings blanketing dewy gardens
and parks where the heavy heads of flowers
rest on pillowcases made out of petal.
She soars past windows that are shuttered
against the night’s dreamtime intrusions,
her constellation wide eyes bright and alert
as they search for his slumbering house.
There’s a partial eclipse in her blink when,
her target coming into view, she hovers
and then wheels in diminishing circles
that bring her closer into his mind’s eye.
She soars through his yawning casement,
comes to rest on his moon shadowed sheets,
and watches his chest slowly rise and fall
before she gently gathers him up in her talons.
He blinks, suspended between sleep and wake,
and hangs helpless and naked in the empty air
as she swoops over the still sleeping town
back to the warmth of her sunset high nest.
She drops him among swirling nebulae,
nestles down around his foetal body,
and as feathers melt into warm flesh
he dreams of sprouting wings of gold.
Fox carries autumn on her back.
Windfall brambles that are sweet with frost
are slung in the hollow of her shoulder blades
and pinecones that are open to the breeze
line the valley ridges of her spine.
She slips across fields, strands of fur
that snag on fence posts and barbed wire
flaring brightly through the mist
before tumbling into a carpet of golden leaves.
She scoops handfuls of these crisp sunbursts,
pulls the harvest moon into her eyes,
and tricks summer into giving her five-minutes
from each day. She takes them into the woods,
checks that she’s not being watched,
and caches the daylight in a den.
She stands guard while, in a nearby clearing,
leaves mulch and it starts to snow.
Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, Under The Devil’s Moon, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington
photo by Louis-Etienne Foy (via unsplash)