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Feather Narratives  (1)

Here are a few details from Wings: A Memior -- individual feather images and their specific narratives.

Each feather in the wings has its own story, and a specific descriptive narrative for its place in time and space.


Broken Doll

I Dream of Irene

She sits in the bottom of a teacup 

with her back to me.

I slide down into the cup. She turns,

ah, Irene, as she is in her portrait.


I have questions.

“Where are you from?”

“Where are we going?”

Her answer,” I don’t know.”


Beloved only sibling of my grandfather;

lost to him in the great pandemic

as he lies wounded in France.

Irene, twenty-one,

engaged to be married.

Gone, Irene gone, peace gone.


Years pass, in my young face

Grandpa sees Irene, sees peace.

Mother, with a stroke of a caret,

inserts into my birth certificate

the middle name, Irene.


I am gifted with a core of peace.

My only name that will

Remain unchanged.


A tintype portrait

and the dream

is her legacy to me.


Irene, a form of self-portraiture?


A muse? Absolutely.

Mommy comes in from the backyard

where she has been hanging clothes on the line.

 Bending to me, holding her hands close to my face,

she opens them like a seashell.

Resting on her palms, a monarch butterfly,

a rare gift of tenderness from my mother.

 Oh, I am well loved but little understood,

 a sensitive child with a knit brow.


My mother a pragmatic atheist, intelligent, political,

with a fiery temperament and a throaty laugh.

At eleven years of age she met her heroine, Amelia Earhart.

  A valedictorian, she pursued a career as a legal secretary.

The depression years prevented affording

a college education.

 She favored work to domestic life.

In the feminist awareness years of the 70’s and 80’s

my mother was perplexed at my decisions

to teach, marry, have three children,

pick up needle and thread.


We sit at opposite ends of the teeter–totter,

my mother and I, but at the fulcrum are the gifts,

 love of the ocean, books, good food, lively conversation,

discernment, ardent marriages of equality,

 a life without regret.


Once, while looking over my artwork, my mother

commented, “I don’t know where you get that from.”

I drew her a comparison referring to

her culinary art and poems.

“ I get it from you Mom.”

“ I got the gift from you.”

The doll, lifeless, unclaimed,

being eaten from the inside out.

A hole where they swarm and fly away.


My creativity, lifeless, unclaimed,

being eaten from the inside out.

A whole where ideas swarm and fly away.


The doll is dressed to disguise.

I present myself to disguise.

Can’t cover it up.


Doll, lying there, wrapped in Mary blue,

expose it now,

pick it up and restore life.


My creative life, lying there,

expose it now,

pick it up and restore life.

Renew its spirit, a healing.

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