Not supposed to write
poems about angels,
so my writing teacher says.
No sunsets, roses, rainbows, doves.
Hard realism, he says
but I like angels.
Grievous, fallen, tarnished,
those flying too close to the ground
the quirky ones,
those hunky warrior types.
I love them all, like this one
I found today in the second hand shop
on the shelf marked “damaged goods”.
Serene, exquisitely so,
and I could find nothing wrong
till I turned her upside down
and read on the base
angel with no halo.
Whatever she’d done
to lose her halo, it was nothing
I hadn’t done too, or at least
seriously considered. Damaged goods?
Hawks don’t mate in late summer,
yet there they are, courting,
talons locked in free-fall
through the fierce blue heat
of this August afternoon.
I’ve been watching the birds soaring
so high they’re hardly more than specks,
yet still their wild cries chill
an old, feathered part of my heart
and, though my eyes strain to watch,
I can’t turn away as higher and higher
the hawks circle, till at the fall,
that whirling gyroscope of reckless seconds,
I am stunned by the raw power
of what we, in our safe little world,
can barely comprehend.
At breakaway I imagine
a furious dance of feathers
splitting the heated air, and then
up and up the lovers ascend,
further than my small eyes can see,
out beyond – to where only angels
are permitted to love.