wings (fortune sounds)

by Fredda Pearlson

with the first step the body is wired

to the ground, with nowhere to hide,

all the star stuff around you, too

feels the pull, tries to let go

but only the birds fly away,

and the leaves fall and fall


somehow you have managed

one brittle inch of fortune

a half-turn into an easy morning

no longer in anyone’s temporary company

no longer listening for the overflowing tub,

no longer watching the old broken clocks


you have deflated the past,

letting it fill the rooftop,

moving higher, higher

you have learned to swallow time in great gulps

your parched throat has broken away

unable to make even bird sounds


as you raise your arms and let them fall

a cautious strategy of height and silence

pretending flight each morning,

measuring your own wing span

as it unravels to fortune

a flightless sound, and you, again

stepping into the cool empty air

Fredda S. Pearlson is enjoying her third career as a cardiovascular RN. Her poetry has appeared in The California Quarterly, The Wisconsin Review, The Centennial Review, Panoply, Helicon Nine, The Feminist Renaissance, Chrysalis, Stone Country, The Little Magazine, The Dolphin’s Arc: Poems on Endangered Creatures of the Sea, Connecticut River Review, Common Ground Review, Miramar, Bryant Literary Review, Earth’s Daughters, and Pinyon.