Angel of Loneliness


Of course there's no one,
especially not an angel
though the air seems overly receptive
as if it's leaving room for something
to arrive. The only tracks in the snow
are her own, leading from the back door
to the birdfeeder where wind above the drifts
fashions wings of such a force and size
she can feel the muscles
underneath the pinions as they push her back
and sweep across the yard.

There's no one here
but her, a lone woman breaking
a path to the feeder, her body
all these years untouched,
unfeathered. It's the cold--
this winter there's too much of it--
that makes its presence known,
inside and out. She can feel it
blunt her skin, grip the morning
and all that's tethered to the earth
in its boneless fist.

- Lorna Crozier, Small Mechanics

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